21 September 2017

A Sheffield judge has imposed the largest ever penalty of £4,000 on a couple who failed to keep their dogs quiet. It is the biggest fine to have been handed down in Sheffield for a case of this kind.

Sheffield City Council’s Environmental Protection Service prosecuted Carl Collins, 34 and Rebecca Carnell, 27 of Thompson Hill, High Green, for failing to comply with abatement notices which legally required them to reduce noise from their pets.

The couple were today found guilty at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court. They were ordered to pay £1,000 each to the two people who had brought the complaint. Mr Collins and Mrs Carnell face a bill of £1,052 each to cover the legal costs of Sheffield City Council.

The case dates back nearly three years, to October 2014, when the pair were first issued with abatement notices after repeated complaints about the dogs.

The dogs continued to cause a nuisance by barking loudly, and often during the early hours. A reminder about the notices was sent to the couple but neighbours carried on objecting to the noise.

In January 2017 noise monitoring equipment was installed at the complainants’ home and during the week several breaches were detected.
Councillor Bryan Lodge, Cabinet member for the Environment at Sheffield City Council, said: “The financial penalty reflects the misery of the neighbours caught up in this issue.

“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.