THE borough council is urging residents to “act more thoughtfully towards their neighbours” as we enter the second week of strict government ‘lock-down’ measures to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

In a post on its website, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council said: “Everyone is going to be experiencing difficulties and stresses because of the current restrictions on movement, with most people being confined to their homes and where available, gardens, for most of the day for the foreseeable future.

“These restrictions are clearly essential to reduce the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19) and protect everyone’s health and save lives. However, that means we will probably be seeing and hearing more of our neighbours than we are used to. In some situations, this may lead to frustrations or annoyance with noise we do not want to hear.”

The council urged people to “act more thoughtfully” and consider the how the noise coming from their home could cause problems or upset others.

It added: “For the same reason, we would urge everyone to be more tolerant and patient with noise and activity that they won’t be used to hearing. There is a real need to show some good will at this time.”

It gives specific advice on things to do to be a “thoughtful neighbour” which includes reducing noise and considering the impact it has on others, by thinking about the lifestyle of neighbours, for examples if they are retired or have young children.

The council said: “If you are approached/contacted by a neighbour and asked to keep your noise down react positively. Respect their right to enjoy their home without hearing all that is going on in yours. Keep in mind the need to maintain a two-metre distance from any of your neighbours.”

Stereos, TVs, radios and music are the most frequent causes for noise complaints to the borough council, which said: “What is considered entertainment for one person can be torture for someone else.”

It advised to position speakers away from adjoining walls, floors and ceilings, and to stand them on insulating material, adding: “It is a common misunderstanding that anyone is allowed to play their music as much and as loudly as you like up to 11pm. This is completely wrong, so don’t make that mistake. Noise nuisance can be caused at any time of day or night.”

The council said any complaints made about noise from a party or social gathering “will be investigated” because “this may not only amount to a noise disturbance but also a breach of the government coronavirus social distancing requirements. This is not in any way acceptable behaviour.”

Referring to ‘online’ parties it added: “Please keep the volume down, particularly the bass, or use headphones. Avoid any loud, late night parties. Homes aren’t the place to replicate a pub or night club environment.”

The council’s guidelines encourage residents to “play fair” when it comes to carrying out DIY, saying: “You may be taking the opportunity now to finish or start new projects because of the current restrictions on movement. However, please be thoughtful and reasonable. The impact this could have on your neighbours during this difficult time could be greater than you think.”

It added: “Unless it’s an emergency, don’t do this sort of work in the evening or early in the morning, particularly at the weekend.

“Most importantly – please keep in mind that most people are currently confined to their homes. They can’t escape you, and you can’t escape them. Play fair!”

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