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Three noisy neighbours from Harlow hit hard with fines

News / Mon 28th Sep 2015 at 05:32pm

HARLOW Council’s Environmental Health and Legal Teams have secured three successful noise prosecutions against noisy residents in recent months.

The first was Hannah Bennett of Red Lion Crescent, who was the subject of complaints from neighbours concerning loud music, screaming and shouting. Officers from Environmental Health witnessed the noise, and Miss Bennett was served with an Abatement Notice on 1 September 2014.

The Team continued to receive complaints from neighbours after the service of the Abatement Notice and, in the early hours of Saturday 7 March 2015 an Officer witnessed loud music, raised voices, shouting and banging.

Legal proceedings were issued against Miss Bennett for breaching the Notice. Miss Bennett was found guilty in her absence at Chelmsford Magistrates Court on 21 May 2015. Miss Bennett received a fine of £600, costs of £437 and a victim surcharge of £60, a total of £1,097.

Next was Charlotte Lee of Primrose Field, who was also the subject of complaints from neighbours concerning loud music, shouting and banging. Officers again witnessed the noise and Miss Lee was served with an Abatement Notice on 19 February 2015.

Complaints from neighbours continued; on the evening of Monday 25 May 2015 an Officer witnessed loud music, and banging and legal proceedings against Miss Lee were issued for breaching the Notice. Miss Lee was found guilty in her absence at Chelmsford Magistrates Court on 24 August 2015. Miss Lee received a fine of £73, costs of £300, a victim surcharge of £20 and court costs of £150.00, a total of £543.

Finally, Robert Goodchild of Felmongers was fined after complaints from neighbours concerning loud music being played were made. Officers witnessed the noise and Mr Goodchild was served with an Abatement Notice on 23 February 2015.

As with the first two cases, copmplaints continued to be received after the service of the Notice. On the evening of Friday 10 July 2015 an Officer witnessed the loud music being played at 7.40pm, then again just before midnight. The Officer attended again on the evening of Sunday 12 July 2015 at just after 10pm hours and again witnessed loud music.

Following these visits the Environmental Health Team made an application to Chelmsford Magistrates Court for a warrant to enter the premises and remove all noise-making equipment. The warrant was executed on 20 July 2015 by Environmental Health Officers and Essex Police.

Legal proceedings against Mr Goodchild for breaching the Notice were issued; in addition an application for a forfeiture order (which, if granted, allows the Council to retain possession of the equipment and dispose of as required) was made.

Mr Goodchild was found guilty in his absence at Chelmsford Magistrates Court on 10 September 2015 and received fines totalling £1,000 for the three noise offences committed, costs of £1,119.62, a victim surcharge of £40 and court costs of £150. The total cost came to £2,309.62.

Harlow Council was also granted the forfeiture order.

Commenting on the successful prosecutions, Councillor Mark Wilkinson, Portfolio Holder for Environment, said: “This is excellent news and a great result for the Environmental Health and Legal Teams. I’d like to say well done to all involved in bringing these prosecutions to a successful conclusion.

“It’s unfortunate that legal action has had to be taken as we do try to resolve noise complaints informally where possible; however as community leaders we must help maintain a safe, healthy environment for our residents and those visiting town. This includes ensuring that noise doesn’t cause distress.

“Hopefully this action will help improve the lives of the residents affected by this noise nuisance.”

Residents affected by noise nuisance can find report it to us at: http://www.harlow.gov.uk/noise

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