Sunday, 10 April 2011

Neighbours of noise or simply noise averse?

When you briefly experience the wonderful peace and alacrity of quietness (don’t worry i’ll return to form shortly), it’s worth bearing in mind that unless you’re in a retreat - which is bored into the side of a mountain - that peace is just the minute gap before the next oncoming tide of a skyscraper-sized noise tsunami; especially when it involves fillies just out from uni and moving into their first flat together.

Heavy footfalls, high heels, stomping around, lots of ‘mates over’ are now de rigueur.  Which wouldn’t normally be a problem except in those (i.e., this) flat/house conversions, which once had luscious carpet covering the bareness but which greedy landlords ripped out, leaving exposed floorboards that people flock and ‘coo’ over, admiring the fact that they ‘look so pretty’, ignoring what doesn’t lay beneath.

Naturally provisions exist in leases precisely to alleviate this problem (generally), except when the vast majority of people are either unaware the problem their usually simple everyday noise is creating exists, or the issue is not brought to their attention; as opposed to any wilful or malicious intent.

So when you bring it to their attention, verbally and or formally, and the noise continues, you begin to wonder whether there’s more going on than an element of unawareness.  Perhaps it’s simply the case they don’t give a damn and further actions are nothing less than wilful maliciousness. 

A tedious probability?  As iterated to in the title; is it neighbours who are been noisy or am i just been overly sensitive?

Figures indicate that at least 95,000 (after doing a bit of research my previous use of 2 mn appears wildly wide of the uk mark and it should have been covering the  eu) people, have an issue with noise and noisy neighbours, severe and pressing enough that after spending years of battling, grinds them into moving for the sake of their health.  Because as satisfying as fighting your corner is, every now and then there comes a time when you ponder why you’re still bashing your head against a brick wall.  Then as dizziness caused by exsanguination starts to take its toll, you realise the two-steps towards resolution you thought you were making, actually turns out to be you moving backwards, at a rapid rate of knots.  It’s just the flashing change of scenery which has confused you.

I’m one of those stubborn folk – something which happens when you live next to an increasingly noisy venue, and next to a stand with an increasing number of buses utilising the stand without drivers switching off their engines, and now with added noisy neighbour icing; that you either throw your hands in the air, give up and move on, or fiercely dig your heels in (as opposed to down - as the current clippity-clopping neighbours above are prone to do) and say enough really is enough

Everything (on paper at least) says this shouldn’t be happening.  So why have other leaseholders simply let things slide?  Because it’s easier than putting up a struggle.  Especially when it seems to be an on-going struggle with seemingly no end in sight. 

Yet, one resident who has dug his heels in over a compactor placed against the party wall (somehow allowed by the council) has managed to have it removed.  Yes, an industrial sized rubbish compactor that members of staff at the venue and its operators took extreme pleasure in assuring caused as much physically noise as possible – bar bashing it into the wall, was placed within touching distance of flats, and neither they nor the council could understand that residents had a problem with it.

When it comes to the care of resident’s hearing and ability to get a decent nights sleep, it seems conservative run boroughs (from the evidence so far) appear to stand miles above labour or liberal run boroughs – which is odd, considering how much we’re constantly bombarded with the message that labour councils are for the people – which i suppose they are, except when it comes to residents managing to obtain a good nights sleep.

Now the problem with many british flats, homes and apartments is that way too many of them were built at a time when it was the genteel thing to generally not carry on unless you lived in the slums - where that sort of behaviour was expected.  Over the years slum areas were destroyed and re-built with better looking but still (by today's sound standards) crummy sound considerations, where anything over and beyond the sound of brushing your teeth’s magnified to a point where simon bates would be using a pile-driver and not a knife.

In today's world, many in the west would like to think we’re remarkably  civilised, yet reality shows the law of the jungle and a dog-eat-dog mentality is in force, well, and flourishing greater than ever.

For those of a mind to know more, noise action week is rapidly approaching.

Noise Action Week 23-27 May 2011

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