North Devon residents can use The Noise App to tackle noisy nuisances

Barking dogs, loud music and noisy neighbours are the top noise complaints received by North Devon Council - but now the victims have the solution in their hands.

The council has launched The Noise App, which enables people with smartphones or tablets to record nuisance noises and send them in as evidence.

Figures obtained by the Gazette show of the 311 noise complaints received by the council in 2015, barking dogs topped the list at 64.

Loud music and raucous neighbours tied at 49 each, while commercial noise came in at 40.

Crowing cockerels may not be as common as first thought, with only four complaints logged regarding agriculture.

The Noise App records and logs noise incidents at the touch of a button, allowing people to send in evidence in relation to an alleged noise nuisance, once it has been reported to the council.

Using the app doesn't replace visits by council officers to determine whether a statutory noise nuisance exists, but it makes it easier for residents to provide a diary of evidence.

Councillor Pat Barker, lead member for community safety, said: "The app is straightforward to use and makes it easy to log dates and times, as well as take recordings if people wish to send them to us electronically.

"I think it makes people feel they are actually doing something to help themselves. I think it is a really useful tool and we are going to be able to use our officers' time more effectively."

Complaints can be registered and the app downloaded from the environment page at www.northdevon.gov.uk or to speak to someone call 01271 388870.