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Blocking neighbours noise

Hi all

We are in a new build estate so have a blank canvas to work with in our back garden. The garden is about 10 x 8m, is a rectangle and is currently all turfed. Our main area of focus at the moment is planting alongside the solid wooden fence with our next door neighbour who lives to the side of us. The fence is around 1.8m tall. They seem to enjoy playing music loudly and whilst it’s not to our taste we don’t want to pick a battle with them.

So... I’ve been researching ideas for plants that we could put alongside the fence in a border that would help reduce noise or at least provide a distraction (eg. leaves rustling). I think it would also help if we could get some privacy by blocking off the tiny gaps in the fence. 

Ideally, we would like plants that are relatively low maintenance and more importantly aren’t going to grow in a way that causes a nuisance to these neighbours.

If you have any ideas that would be appreciated. I’m looking forward to learning more!




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  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 22,305
    I can't see any plant making that much difference to the sound or the vibrations.  I suggest you get ear plugs and plant what you like the look of.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 2,507
    Evidently a water feature is white noise according to Toby Buckland on the recent programmes about the Chelsea Flower show and this can mask sounds but to cover music I would think you would need Niagra Falls.
    Asking them in a friendly manner  to turn it down a bit surely isn't picking a battle?
  • celcius_kkwcelcius_kkw Posts: 732
    edited June 2020
    I’m with K67, it’s best to resolve the issue diplomatically rather than forcing yourself to work around it. You have just as much right to co-exist in that housing estate as your neighbour, and politely asking them to tone it down isn’t picking a fight. Perhaps go up to them and introduce yourself to start with, maybe with some home baked goods. That would be a good way to get to know each other and gently broach the subject. I think it’s acceptable for neighbours to play music loudly on occasion and if it’s during day time but not on a regular basis. 

    If they are decent they wouldn’t mind being informed of their loud music causing nuisance. Sometimes people simply aren’t aware of it if nobody tells them. Most people would be horrified at the fact their music is causing grief to their neighbours.. that is, if they’re decent. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,145
    I hate to say it but, there are people who simply become more confrontational when you try to reason with them  :/
    I don't think there's any planting which would help, but you can usually report excessive noise as it's a notifiable problem. You don't have to give your real name etc. 

    You have my sympathy. Round here, it's endless yapping of r*ddy dogs whose owners either don't have a clue or simply don't care.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • celcius_kkwcelcius_kkw Posts: 732
    The reality of living in a housing estate I guess.. I guess I’m just too considerate after all 😌 I’m lucky to live in an apartment with just one flat next to me and there is a corridor that separates us. We are on good terms and very sensible people so it’s been quite enjoyable for us. Does the council care about these sort of dispute? 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,145
    Interestingly @Treeface, this came up a while ago on the forum, and someone said that, in reality, it never really happens, so it's one of those 'not quite an urban myth or is it?' type of problems. It seems that it doesn't always get recorded or disclosed.  
    I don't know if that's UK wide either though. 

    I wouldn't want to take the risk either though!
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • dave125dave125 Posts: 178
    Treeface said:
     Anyone fancy lending me half a million for a couple of acres?!
    Blimey our property is around that value - 0.25 acres!
  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 22,305
    A shoebox in t'middle of t'road would cost that in parts of london. Unfortunately, not our part😕
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • wrighttwrightt Posts: 226
    Water features do help with either a waterfall or a fountain but a decent size one. It will not stop the noise altogether but can distract from it a bit as mine does from all the Heathrow planes, roll on Coronovirus 19  as there have been none in the sky for weeks. 
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286
    Buy an electric guitar and at least a 500 watt amp. Every time they put the music on, play badly and loudly. It actually worked for us when new neighbours moved in a few years back.

    I'm more than a little tolerant because I had a really awkward neighbour in the past who would say digging with a fork in the garden 'disturbed' him. But the music, well I wouldn't have minded but it was constant and she always had all the windows open, so even inside our house it sounded like we were playing it ourselves indoors.

    They do very thick fence panels that are supposed to deaden noise. I've not used them and to be honest I don't think they will stop music, perhaps muffle the sound of kids playing next door at best.

    You really do have the right to enjoy your own home, it can be a case that people don't really mean to be annoying and think if nobody says anything, it must be OK.

    We did drop subtle hints like bringing up in conversation the preferred artists our neighbour liked, hoping the penny would drop that we could clearly hear it in the house, but it never did. The guitar (especially playing a bit of Led Zepplin full blast) really did stop it completely. It made me laugh that her husband asked why I no longer play guitar the other week. Fact is I've played for well over 30 years, I just normally use headphones if practicing at home.  :D
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