Noise watchdogs offer advice

Winchester City Council noise watchdogs are 'hammering home' the message on construction and DIY noise as part of National Noise Action Week.

Last year the Council's Environmental Protection Team saw a one third rise in complaints about noise from building sites and construction noise at a time when there was an overall reduction in the total number of noise complaints received.

The team are therefore offering five simple tips to those working in the construction industry and the local DIY fan.

1. Kill the Drill - Be considerate about what hours you work, even on small DIY projects. Avoid performing noisy activities on Sundays or late at night and give everyone some well earned peace and quiet.

2. Work to Rule - Powers exist to control hours of work on commercial building sites. Working hours should be restricted to 08.00 to 18.00 Monday to Friday, 08.00 to 13.00 Saturday and at no time on Sundays or recognised bank holidays. Working to these hours tends to keep most people happy.

3. Turn it Down - Keep the volume of your stereos down, not everyone likes your taste in music or radio stations.

4. It's Good to Talk - If you need to work late then speak to the neighbours and give them as much notice as possible. People react better to something they are expecting and are likely to be far more tolerant.

5. The Right Tool for the Job. For many noisy pieces of equipment it is possible to use or hire a quieter alternative. If the site is large enough then perform noisy activities as far as possible away from nearby properties. On a small site consider whether certain noisy activities can be performed off site?

City Councillor Jim Wagner, the Portfolio Holder for Health, is supporting the campaign and is seeking the co-operation of local builders and residents in promoting a little more peace and quiet across the district.

"We all have DIY or construction jobs to do at times but can often forget that our project is someone else's nuisance," he said. "I am hoping that by offering these simple tips we can remind everyone of the need to think of others before picking up the hammer or drill at home. A little consideration can do wonders for neighbourly relations that can be severely damaged once people are prompted to complain."