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NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 1 survey results neighbourhood noise This is an extract of a report from a community.

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Presentation on theme: "NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 1 survey results neighbourhood noise This is an extract of a report from a community."— Presentation transcript:

1 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 1 survey results neighbourhood noise This is an extract of a report from a community noise survey done by instinct and reason for DEC in 2004, with the aim of informing the DEC's review of noise regulations, which is conducted every five years.

2 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 2 presentation overview introduction and background objectives and study design nature and extent of noise behaviours and actions issues and attitudes preferred solutions knowledge and legislation

3 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 3 introduction This document covers the results of a survey designed to enhance the understanding of the issues surrounding neighbourhood noise in NSW so that good policy can be developed to enable fair neighbourhood activity without inconveniencing the community unduly The strategic outcomes DEC seeks is to be able to use this work to: –Identify current attitudes, knowledge and behaviours in relation to noise issues –Inform planning, implementation and evaluation of future legislation, programs and initiatives targeting this issue This survey is about understanding how the community experience, act and feel in various situations involving neighbourhood noise

4 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 4 research objectives 1.Identify the nature and extent of neighbourhood noise impacts being experienced by the NSW community 2.Identify community awareness of, and attitudes to neighbourhood noise problems 3.Identify community preferences concerning potential solutions to noise problems - in particular views concerning the appropriate level of restriction on legitimate noise activity such as lawn mowing and using power tools 4.Gauge the level of public awareness and understanding of current legislation and enforcement options, including what works, what doesnt and what's missing, and to explore aspects of current knowledge, attitudes and behaviours regarding noise Given that the goal of this neighbourhood noise survey was to increase the amount of knowledge about how the community currently experiences noise then there were as a result, four primary research objectives set to be achieved, including…

5 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 5 The study was based on personal telephone interviews amongst community members Sample selection was on a quota basis using two factors: gender to ensure a broad cross section, and location. Location was based on place of residence in either inner metro areas, outer suburban areas and in rural and small town areas of NSW. The final database was as follows study design MalesFemales Metro inner Metro outer suburban Rural/small town Total345405

6 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 6 who did we speak to? The study reached a wide cross section of the NSW community… Living in different residential circumstances -separate housing (N=544) -semi-detached, row or terrace, townhouse (N=75) and -in flats units or apartments (N=121) -owners (N=341) -non owners (N=288) and -renters (N=101) Age groups -under 39 (N=295) (N=298) and -60plus (N=157)

7 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 7 nature extent &

8 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 8 problems experienced in local area… Q1. Which of the following, if any, do you consider to be a problem in your area that affects your quality of life at home or in your local area? Multiple response Base: Total Sample N=750

9 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 9 problems experienced in local area – continued Slightly more than one in five indicated noise from neighbours as being a problem, however, to put this in context, noise from neighbours is considered far less a problem than many other aspects of urban living Noise from traffic is by far the most prevalent problem, whilst noise from barking dogs is experienced by over a third Concerns over neighbourhood noise peaks amongst flat, unit and apartments dwellers (34% compared to 21% of total sample), is slightly higher in the outer city suburban areas (26%) and lowest in rural or small town locations (16%) Neighbourhood noise is stated as a problem more by the young (24% of under 39 compared to 17% of those over 60)

10 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 10 extent of noise heard in the home… Q2. Irrespective of whether you find the noise annoying or disturbing, can you tell me what extent you can hear noise from your current neighbourhood when you are at home? Single response Base: Total Sample N=750

11 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 11 For some in the community (21% much, all the time or quite often), neighbourhood noise is a fairly constant factor in their environment. This constancy increases with the proximity of other residential dwelling – to 28% for those in semi-detached or townhouses, and 37% for those in flats or units. Aligned with this is the greater extent of neighbourhood noise being experienced in inner city areas (28% compared to 18% for suburban and 16% for rural and small towns). extent of noise heard in the home – continued

12 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 12 impact of neighbourhood noise on the individual… Q3. And what extent are you personally bothered, annoyed or disturbed by noise from your current neighbourhood? Single response Base: Total Sample N=750

13 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 13 A significant minority – one in eight of our community – also consider neighbourhood noise to be personally annoying or disturbing (12% extremely or very) At the other end of the scale, less than half (42% not at all) feel they have escaped any psychological impact Again the degree of intrusion is closely related to the proximity of the dwelling (9% for separate housing, 17% for semi-detached and 20% for flat, unit or apartment dwellers) All of this higher impact group evince a high degree of concern in relation to neighbourhood noise impact of neighbourhood noise on the individual – continued

14 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 14 type of noise experienced and its impact on the individual… Q4a. Which of the following noises have you been aware of inside your home from your current neighbourhood? Multiple response. ASK FOR EACH NOISE AWARE OF IN Q4a Q4b. What extent are you personally bothered, annoyed or disturbed by [INSERT NOISE]? Single response Base: N=74 Type of noise Aware N=750 % Extremely % Very % A little % Not at all % Motor vehicles in general Garbage collection Animals (barking dog) Motorcycles Loud music Modified vehicles Powered garden tools House alarms Pubs/entertainment venues A/C or pool pump Other Impact

15 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 15 Again, motor vehicle noise in general is identified as a source that most are aware of. This is particularly so for dwellers in semi- detached and flats and also correlated with the inner city dwellers (64% and 60% respectively) Garbage collection is the next most nominated noise source – again dwellers in semis and flats/units etc. nominating it more often (53% and 42% respectively), than separate housing dwellers (37%) Third most nominated is animal noises (specifically barking dogs) – this is less of a problem for flat dwellers (21%). Fourth most nominated are motorcycles and again semi and flat dwellers are the highest nominators (37% and 38% respectively) type of noise awareness – continued

16 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 16 Whilst motorcycles may be fourth in terms of awareness, the impact or degree of annoyance is particularly high amongst those aware of this noise source Similarly, the same comment can be made for modified vehicles Combining both awareness and impact (degree of annoyance), we can create a Noise Impact Matrix that can help show where action is needed. High levels of awareness and annoyance need the greatest attention, while high levels of awareness and low levels of annoyance need lesser attention. noise impact or intrusion – continued

17 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 17 noise impact matrix Low Awareness High Annoyance Low Awareness High Annoyance High Awareness High Annoyance High Awareness High Annoyance Low Awareness Low Annoyance Low Awareness Low Annoyance High Awareness Low Annoyance High Awareness Low Annoyance Annoyance Awareness

18 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 18 noise impact matrix Annoyance (Extremely/Very) Awareness (% of people) Pubs & entertainment venues Motorcycles Modified vehicles Motor vehicles in general Loud music AnimalsGarbage collection Power garden toolsHouse alarms A/C or pool pump

19 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 19 behaviours actions &

20 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 20 complaints made about noise… Q5a. Have you ever complained about a noise issue by a neighbour? Single response Q5b. Has anyone ever complained about a noise issue caused by you? Single response Base: Total Sample N=750

21 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 21 Despite the high awareness, and in some cases the high level of annoyance created, the level of complaint action against neighbours is considerably lower – presumably because many of the sources of noise are often not neighbour specific and therefore felt to be outside a community members control. However, it is clear that the closer the dwelling proximity (crowding), the more common the complaint level. Those living in semis or flats have almost double the level of complaint making behaviour (23% and 22% respectively) as those living in separate housing (12%). This pattern is also reflected in the higher levels of complaints made in inner city environments (18%) compared to rural or small town environments (12%). complaints made about noise – continued

22 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 22 complaints received about noise Whilst complaints received were lower than complaints made, a similar pattern occurs as those for complaints made i.e. higher levels amongst closer proximity dwellings and in inner city areas. Of those having had a complaint made against them, most had a perception that the level of noise was not inappropriate – hence were presumably surprised by the complaint. Roughly the same number however recognised that the the noise being made was perhaps badly timed or a rarity. In general, the great majority were responsive to the complaint – either ceasing the noise completely or taking steps to reduce the noise. Only a small minority ignored or reacted negatively (9%).

23 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 23 perceptions about complaints made against… Q5c. How would you describe the noise that you were making when the complaint was made? Single response Q5d. Following the complain against you, to what degree did you make efforts to change the noise? Single response Base: Those who have had a noise complain made against them N=57 Q5d Q5c

24 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 24 where complaints are lodged… Q8. Have you ever complained about a noise issue by a neighbour to any of the following? Multiple response Base: Total Sample N=750

25 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 25 where complaints are lodged – continued A direct approach to the noise maker is the preferred approach by the majority (56%) of those ever complaining. This is closely followed by complaints to police (46%). Complaints made to local government is a very distant third at 10%, however this rises to 22% amongst those in semi-detached/ townhouses etc. Local government in this case may be the landlord. Complaints both directly and to the police increase dramatically in semi-detached and unit or flat dwellings. In the later case increasing to 74% for direct complaints and 41% for complaints to police.

26 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 26 perceptions as to effectiveness of complaint… Q9. Thinking about your complaint, how effective do you think it was? Single response Base: Those who have complained N=156

27 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 27 effectiveness of complaint – continued Whilst two thirds overall felt that their complaints were effective to some degree in abating the noise problem, this varied markedly depending on the approach taken. Those approaching directly or using the Police were by far perceived as the most effective. On the other hand, those few approaching Local Government for redress were largely disappointed (75% stating it was not effective). * Small Base. This pattern is also reflected in how well the complaint was resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant. - over half were dissatisfied when Local Government agencies were involved. - a third or less if the Police or being directly resolved.

28 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 28 satisfaction with complaint resolution… Q10. Thinking about your complaint, how effective do you think it was? Single response Base: Those who have complained N=142

29 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 29 reasons for not making a complaint… Q11. And why did you not complain? Multiple response Base: Total Sample N=750 (note 60% did not complain)

30 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 30 reasons for not making a complaint – continued The willingness to tolerate neighbours noise, given that the occurrence of the noise is irregular, is a major factor in limiting complaints. This is followed by a fear that complaining may generate a backlash or repercussions with neighbours – a fear more prevalent amongst flat, unit and apartment dwellers. This is further reinforced by those feeling they needed to keep the peace with neighbours.

31 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 31 result of complaint on relationship with neighbour… Q12. How did the relationship with your neighbours change as a result of the complaint? Single response Base: Those who have complained N=323

32 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 32 issues a ttitudes &

33 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 33 issues with neighbourhood noise… ( 1 is strongly disagree and 10 is strongly agree) People in my immediate area tend too look out for each other6.3 I shouldnt be able to hear noise from neighbours at any time4.9 Noise is only acceptable at certain times6.7 People are entitled to make noise providing they get permission/let neighbours know 6.8 I should be able to make noise in my own home – its my personal side6.3 I would not feel comfortable approaching my neighbour about a noise problem 5.0 Where I live I think it is reasonable to expect some noise from neighbours5.9 Car and house alarms are necessary to maintain neighbour security6.6 Motorcycle noise is more annoying than noise from cars6.6 I feel a more stringent set rules should apply to noise from private activities than for public works 5.0 If neighbourhood noise gets too much I have faith in the council being able to control it 5.2 Mean Base: Total Sample N=750

34 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 34 issues with neighbourhood noise… Disagree (1-3) % Moderate (4-7) % Agree (8-10) % People in my immediate area tend too look out for each other I shouldnt be able to hear noise from neighbours at any time Noise is only acceptable at certain times65836 People are entitled to make noise providing they get permission/let neighbours know Base: Total Sample N=750

35 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 35 issues with neighbourhood noise… Disagree (1-3) % Moderate (4-7) % Agree (8-10) % I should be able to make noise in my own home – its my personal space I would not feel comfortable approaching my neighbour about a noise problem Where I live I think it is reasonable to expect some noise from neighbours Car and house alarms are necessary to maintain neighbour security Base: Total Sample N=750

36 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 36 issues with neighbourhood noise… Disagree (1-3) % Moderate (4-7) % Agree (8-10) % Motorcycle noise is more annoying than noise from cars I feel a more stringent set of rules should apply to noise from private activities than for public works If neighbourhood noise gets too much I have faith in the council being able to control it Base: Total Sample N=750

37 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 37 issues with neighbourhood noise – continued Responses regarding various noise issues are well distributed across the agree – disagree scale. There is a seminal clustering of the data into two groups. Those that could probably be defined as the Noise Sensitives – being less than tolerant of neighbours, less likely to tolerate noise or intrusion. They are more likely to be younger (under 39), female and perhaps in poorer accommodation I.e. close (100 metres) to a rail line, and in a flat or unit and mortgaged. The second group could be defined as the Noise Tolerant – you tolerate some noise from us, we in turn tolerate some noise from you – on an occasional basis. These are more community involved people – they are more likely to be owners of their place of residence (40-59). However, these two attitudinal clusterings are not clearly defined. Consistent profiling of those two groups is not clear cut and there is a lot of overlap in terms of attitudes. Nor do they provide clear explanations of many of the behavioural responses that make up the weight of the study.

38 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 38 preferred solutions

39 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 39 effective way to deal with noise complaints… Q13. Which in your opinion or experience is most effective in dealing with noise complaints? Single response Base: Total Sample N=750

40 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 40 reduce noise problems – what should local council & state government do? Q14. Which three of the following do you think are most important for the local council or state government to do to reduce problems of noise by neighbours? Single response Base: Total Sample N=750

41 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 41 reducing noise problems – continued Responding quickly to incidents by the appropriate authorities, a continuing education program and resolving disputes quickly are put forward as the three major avenues in reducing neighbourhood noise. Response times and education are equally supported across all age and gender groups whilst younger males are slightly more supportive of quick resolution than other groups. On a second tier, tougher legislation, more information about what powers are available to curtail noise, and a 24 hour noise service are put forward as supporting elements.

42 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 42 placing limits on noise – what is a suitable time for noise to cease… Q6. In general, until what time of night do you think it is acceptable to make noise that can be heard inside your house a) on the weekend and b) during the week? Single response Base: Total Sample N=750

43 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 43 placing limits on noise – what is a suitable time to cease – (accumulative)

44 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 44 placing limits on noise – continued During weekdays the midpoint time, i.e. the time half the population considers noise to be unacceptable, is between 10pm and 10.30pm. This varies little across the three zones (inner city, suburban and rural) – although inner city dwellers are marginally in favour of a later time. During the weekend this time is advanced by an hour to 11.30pm – each of the three zones being very similar in their view on this.

45 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 45 knowledge legislation of

46 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 46 awareness of legal restrictions relating to… Q16. Do these laws relate to the? Multiple response Base: Those aware of regulations N=253 34% claim to be aware of laws that exist on making noise in their neighbourhood. Of these – most (83%) are aware of restrictions around the time of day noise is made…

47 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 47 appropriateness of regulations… Total N=253 Very appropriate % Appropriate % Not appropriate % Length of time noise is made Time of day noise is made Offensive noise Other* Base: Those aware of the specified legislation N=253 Q17. How appropriate do you feel these types of laws are? Single response *Caution – small base size

48 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 48 awareness and appropriateness of legal restrictions on noise – continued Only a third claimed knowledge of laws that exist to control noise, males (41%) and those 40–59 (40%) claimed a greater level of awareness than other groups. The highest level of claimed awareness was in relation to the time of day that the noise is made. This level of awareness was particularly high amongst those resident in outer city suburbs (95%) and least so in rural or small towns (69%). Laws relating to the length or duration of the noise has a far less claimed awareness level as does that for offensiveness of the noise made. All three areas of law, time of duration, length of duration and offensiveness were equally supported as being appropriate to be legislated for. Only very small minorities felt legislation in regard to each would be inappropriate. Generally males were, by a matter of degree, more supportive of legislation (i.e. more strongly in support) than females.

49 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 49 knowledge of noise laws… Every vehicle on road cannot be noisier than a set level You can be as noisy as you like during the day Only police can enforce noise laws Some noisy garden appliances have noise labels on them to help you buy the quietest Motor cycle mufflers have to carry a noise label The regulations control on road vehicles but not vehicles traveling off road Offensive noise means noise above a prescribed level You cant mow your lawn late at night Q17b. For the next statements, can you please tell me whether you think they are true or false? Single response Base: Total Sample N=750

50 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 50 knowledge of noise laws – continued Despite the level of claimed awareness in regards to law that is in place, there are large portions of the population that either harbour misapprehension or are ignorant of the nature of those laws. The highest levels of ignorance or misapprehension relate to - the meaning of the term offensive noise - the right to mow your lawn late at night - regulations that apply both on and off road The highest levels of knowledge i.e. the greatest degree of correctness relate to … - the level of noise permitted or set of all road vehicles - whether or not you can be excessively noisy during the day - whether only police are responsible for noise enforcement With some exceptions, males tend to be marginally more correct about these regulations than do females – especially in regard to those relating to vehicle noise.

51 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 51 current noise experience – noises people make/experience occasionally or regularly… Q18. Which of the following neighbourhood noise to you currently experience – either regularly or occasionally? Q19. And being honest – which ones would you generate – either regularly or occasionally? Base: Total Sample N=750

52 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 52 current noise generated – continued The most significant noise sources indicated is that of amplified music played after midnight. Not surprisingly, this has higher claim rates amongst younger (under 39), male and those resident in flats, units or apartments.

53 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 53 current noise experience – continued Of the three major noise sources being currently experienced, there are a number of groups that have a greater or lesser degree of experience. Noisy modified motor cars - Areas of semi-detached/townhouses(35% i.e. plus 7% on overall) - Outer suburban areas(33% plus 5%) - Rural or small towns(20% minus 8%) Noisy motor cycles - Over 60 years(17% minus 6%) - Inner city areas(31% plus 8%) - Rural or small town (18% minus 5%) - Areas of semi-detached housing (35% plus 11%) Loud amplified music after midnight - 60 years plus(12% minus 7%) - Inner city areas(25% plus 6%) - Rural or small town(9% Minus 10%) - Flats, units/apartments(34% plus 15%)

54 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 54 appropriateness of regulations… Q20. One way of dealing with this noise is to regulate against it. For each of the following can you tell me how appropriate you feel is the regulation for this type of noise? Single response Base: Total Sample N=750 Noisy Garden powered tools banned after 8pm Motor cycles to have max. level of noise Modified motor cars to have a maximum level of noise Offensive noise generated by off road trail bikes Air conditioning &/or pump noise to be banned after 10pm Loud amplified music played after midnight to be banned Security alarms to have maximum duration for the alarm noise

55 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 55 appropriateness of regulations – continued It is evident that all the proposed or current legislation put forward has a wide degree of acceptance in the community. There are minor levels of opposition, however… - Loud amplified music played after midnight to be banned. Not surprisingly, the pockets of resistance lay with the young, males (and the restless). - Air conditioning or pump noise to be banned after 10pm. Again males (21%), those 40–59 (21%), and in suburban areas (20%) constitute greater than average pockets of resistance.

56 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 56 amplified music/power tools okay if occurring more than… A frequency of between fortnightly and weekly would seem to be the tolerance point for amplified music and power tool noise for all. The major variation from this pattern is for those living in flats, units and apartments. Here the tolerance occurrence point is between fortnightly and monthly A frequency of between fortnightly and weekly would seem to be the tolerance point for amplified music and power tool noise for all. The major variation from this pattern is for those living in flats, units and apartments. Here the tolerance occurrence point is between fortnightly and monthly

57 NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE 2004 Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) 57 overall satisfaction with regulations and how they work to control and resolve


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