Banbury community enjoys the silence after stereo is seized

The stereo equipment was seized
The stereo equipment was seized

Grimsbury is a more peaceful place for residents after council officers turned the volume down on a noisy neighbour.

Cherwell District Council and Thames Valley Police officers seized stereo equipment from a flat off Middleton Road on Wednesday, August 8 after the dance music fan ignored repeated verbal and formal warnings.

Officers from the Environmental Protection Team obtained a warrant from Banbury Magistrates’ Court to gain entry to the property.

The items seized included a hifi system and nine speakers. Cherwell will retain the equipment pending an ongoing review of the case. The owner of the equipment would have to pay administration fees and storage costs to have it returned.

Cllr Andrew McHugh, Cherwell’s lead member for health and wellbeing, said: “No matter how good people think their taste in music is, the chances are their neighbours will object to hearing it at full volume.

“Most music fans know that there are lots of licensed venues in the Banbury area where they can enjoy loud music without causing a statutory nuisance. It’s even easier during the summer months when festivals such as Fairport’s Cropredy Convention are running.

“With this operation we’ve made it very clear that we will not hesitate to take decisive action to keep the peace when people are ignoring our warnings.

He added: “I note that under the Government’s proposals to close Banbury Magistrates’ Court, Cherwell officers will have to travel to Oxford to get a warrant for operations such as this. Not only will that be a drain on their time, in this case it could have left Banbury people enduring this noise nuisance for far longer than necessary.”

The intervention came after the individual ignored a community protection warning issued in March, a community protection notice issued in June, and an abatement notice sent in July.

Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, officers can serve abatement notices when music is played at a volume which causes a statutory nuisance. A prosecution for noise nuisance under the act gives landlords the absolute right to evict the offending tenant.

Helping the council gather evidence to support its case, complainants used The Noise App, a smartphone programme which facilitates the recording of nuisance noise and behaviour.

The app can be downloaded free of charge through either through Google Play for Android or the App Store for iPhone users.

More details can be found at www.cherwell.gov.uk/noiseapps