Nailsea couple in court for keeping noisy dogs
By Carol_Deacon | Friday, November 18, 2011, 15:18
A Nailsea couple have been fined hundreds of pounds for failing to comply with a noise abatement notice.
It is no fun when your neighbour's dog barks all the time
Carl and Kerry Bushe, of Goss Barton, were prosecuted by North Somerset Council for three breaches.
They did not attend the hearing at North Somerset Magistrates' Court this week and had not contacted the court to give a reason.
The case was heard in their absence.
The court heard that North Somerset Council had received complaints about excessive barking from dogs coming from their property of 3 Goss Barton for some time.
On February 9 this year the council served a noise abatement notice on the Bushes which required them to 'provide adequate supervision of the dogs so as to prevent undue barking or take any other action that may be necessary to prevent the nuisance from recurring'.
On July 28 as the result of a complaint, an environmental protection officer from the council went to the property and between 10.05am and 10.45am he recorded a total of 885 barks.
There was no reply when he called at the property and later that day he wrote to the Bushes telling them what had happened and warned them that they should take steps to prevent any further breaches of the notice.
On August 3, the council received a complaint about noise from barking dogs at the property.
A council officer attended and between 11.45am and 11.52am she recorded 141 barks.
Five days later following another complaint officers went to the complainant's property where during a nine minute period 376 barks were recorded.
Magistrates found the case proved and passed the following sentence on each of the Bushes: £1,500 fine (£500 for each offence), prosecution costs of £358.75 and a £15 victim surcharge.
North Somerset Council executive member for consumer protection Peter Bryant said that the case sent a strong signal that blighting other people's lives through excessive noise would not be tolerated.
Cllr Bryant said: "Constant noise can have a really debilitating effect on people - especially when they are at home where it is completely reasonable to expect a certain level of peace and quiet.
"In this particular case we had spoken to the dog owners who chose to ignore our advice and decided that the noise abatement notice wasn't something they needed to abide by.
"The successful prosecution we have brought demonstrates we do take these situations seriously and their actions have cost this couple dear."