More than 600 complaints were recorded in Darlington as noisy neighbours caused a headache during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic.

The town's council recorded 671 noise complaints linked to neighbours between April 2020 and March this year, according to new figures.

That was 625 complaints for every 100,000 people.

The number of complaints soared from 420 the year before – a 60 per cent increase – as people across the area were confined to their homes for sustained periods of lockdown.

However, the data did not reveal the areas or streets where the complaints were made.

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In Hartlepool, the council recorded a further 93 noise complaints, rising from 440 to 533.

A Freedom of Information request submitted to hundreds of local authorities by Churchill Home Insurance found there were more than 368,000 complaints about noisy neighbours lodged to 267 councils across the UK in 2020-21, a 28 per cent rise from the previous year.

The Local Government Association, which represents local authorities, said councils were working to tackle the problem.

"Councils are doing what they can to respond to noise complaints in communities, and to tackle persistent behaviour that makes peoples’ lives a misery."

Local authorities are responsible for investigating complaints about issues that could be a statutory nuisance and have a duty to carry out inspections to detect and investigate nuisance complaints, including those concerning excessive noise.

In a bid to tackle the issue, the Government has assembled the Interdepartmental Panel on Costs and Benefits to consider the implications of the latest evidence around noise and will use the findings to provide updates.

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