11 May 2017

A couple has been fined more than £2,400 for ignoring a noise abatement notice issued by Sheffield City Council’s environmental protection service – for the second time

Stephen and Lynette Hinchliffe, of Armitage Road, Sheffield, pleaded guilty and on Tuesday (9 May) and were fined £750 each, with costs of £800 being awarded to the Council as well as a victim surcharge of £150, making a total of £2,450.

The couple kept 20 Siberian huskies at their semi-detached house in Deepcar. Neighbours complained about the noise from the dogs, which howled persistently.

Neighbours said the noise created a disturbance and prevented them from sleeping.  However, the noise continued to be a problem.

In October 2016 a recording device was installed at a neighbour’s property and 18 breaches were recorded.

The conviction follows a previous conviction for the same offence in May 2016, when the couple were also fined £2,450.  At that time the couple pleaded not guilty, but the court found in the council’s favour.

A spokesman for Sheffield City Council, said: “We are very pleased with this result. The financial penalty reflects the misery of the neighbours caught up in this issue.  We are disappointed that Mr and Mrs Hinchliffe have again breached the abatement notice after their conviction last year.  We will be seeking legal advice about other sanctions which may apply.

“We take all noise complaints seriously, and although we will make every effort to resolve complaints at an early stage, if our help and advice is ignored we will use formal action.

“We hope that this action serves as a warning to others.”

Problems with noise can be reported to Sheffield City Council’s contact centre by telephone on 0114 2734567.

Council officers will try and resolve noise complaints by first providing help and advice. If this does not resolve the problem, then there are legal powers the council can use to try and achieve a resolution.

If an abatement notice is breached without a reasonable excuse, then the matter may go to court.