The weird and wonderful world of Aberdeenshire noise complaints


Shadows from a wind turbine making a man feel sick, seagulls keeping a family awake and a rottweiler taunting a gardener are just some of the bizarre noise complaints from a quiet corner of north east Scotland.

Aberdeenshire Council has released full details of the 377 complaints it dealt with over one year as hundreds of locals were driven to distraction by neighbours and animals alike.

Despite being one of the most expensive and picturesque parts of Scotland at least one resident every day goes to the council for help to keep the noise down.

The weird and wonderful world of noise complaints includes some usual encounters.

Noise officers went to the home of a couple who got in touch about issues to do with near-by wind turbines.

“They described being in the sitting room of their house,” the officer recorded. “They described shadows coming in the large windows and patio doors at the side facing the turbines.

“The moving shadows had the effect of causing feelings like nausea in the gentleman.”


One lady known only as Mrs R, called in to “complain bitterly” about the noise from seagulls. Picture by Jiyang Chen


Meanwhile one lady from the small town of Laurencekirk near the coast got in touch about her ongoing battle with an ice-cream van.

“Spoke to complainant,” the officer wrote. “Ice cream van parks on entrance to her street every Wednesday and chimes many times from 7pm to 9.15pm.

“She has tried to stop the chiming by moving her car to block access but the ice cream van continues to disturb her street.”

Others also went to great lengths to put a stop to their misery.

One man, who has long term feud with a rottweiler known simply as ‘the big one’, has resorted to CCTV to catch it in the act.

The officer records: “I have watched CCTV footage recorded, which does show the dog patrolling the fence and even with his front legs up on the fence when [the complainant] is in his garden.

“However, I am sure this is fairly normal behaviour of a dog of that nature to guard its territory and I am sure if it wanted to get over the fence it would have done.”

Dogs were the number one cause of noise complaints. One man even resorted to attaching a picture of dog poo to an email to highlight his plight.

Another noise investigation detailed: “Caller had been nominated by neighbours to complain. It is a tiny dog but causes huge noise nuisance.

“I spoke to the dog owner. She said the dog barks a lot in the garden and is generally quite yappy.

“I asked that she bring the dog inside if he starts to bark and she said she has tried this but she can’t always catch him.”

Meanwhile one anonymous call in about “four dogs and cats outside barking” caused a council employee passing on the message to comment: “Didn’t know cats could bark.”

Other animals have been causing trouble too.

One lady known only as Mrs R, called in to “complain bitterly” about the noise from seagulls.

“She reports the noise is so great that none of the family are getting any sleep,” the records state.

While another woman phoned the council about the noise “chickens crowing” next door.

“The complainant thinks there are around 12 hens, as well as new chicks, although there are no cockerels,” the noise officer wrote.

Despite animals being the main cause of complaints the odd human also crops up.

One lady got in touch to complain about her neighbour’s 15-year-old who plays his music too loud.

But his mum insisted the music is only on “in morning and early evening for 10-15 minutes if her son is in shower”.

While another Aberdeenshire resident got in touch to complain about his neighbour who puts his washing machine on after coming in from the pub.

“Complainant alleging that upstairs neighbour is at pub every night and comes home and makes excessive noise preparing food in kitchen, banging doors, appliances, heavy thumps after 11pm.

“I explained that noise due to poor insulation. He is adamant that noise is due to excessive behaviour.”