Mathew Clark of Westward Ho! pleaded guilty by email at Barnstaple Magistrates Court this week to breaching a Community Protection Notice served on him for noise by Torridge District Council. The Court imposed a fine of £330, full costs of £1305 and £33 victim surcharge, making a total of £1668. Mr Clark was not present at the hearing but was given 28 days in which to pay.
The prosecution follows a lengthy investigation and several previous attempts seeking to get Mr Clarke to modify his behaviour regarding excessive noise generated from his home. He was served with a Community Protection Notice in August 2017 which required him not to disturb neighbouring residents at any time with amplified sound from his premises, including sound from playing any music, games consoles or any other electronic devices such as televisions or IT equipment.
The complaints were made by his neighbours who reported that music was being played at high volumes starting in the evening and frequently going on into the early hours of the morning. Torridge Council Environmental officers investigated these complaints which included taken recordings of the noise to prove the nuisance.
Mr Clark ignored written warnings which led to the serving of a Community Protection Notice (CPN), and it was made clear to him that failure to comply with the requirements of the notice would be an offence. Further complaints were received which were again substantiated by recordings and since no remedy was forthcoming led the Council to instigate formal prosecution proceedings.
Lead member for the Environment – Councillor Ken James said:
“Excessive noise can seriously affect people’s quality of life and ultimately their health, often causing sleepless nights and stress. The Council will not tolerate the actions of selfish individuals who are a persistent nuisance to their neighbours and who ignore advice to modify their behaviour. This is a considerable fine that has been levied in this case and should be a warning to anyone else to be more considerate towards neighbours in controlling excessive levels of noise.”