MORE than one thousand nuisance complaints were made to each of Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch and East Dorset councils over 2016/17.

Over the 12-month period, Christchurch and East Dorset councils - which have combined figures - saw the largest increase while the number lodged in Poole also rose.

Bucking the national and regional trend, there was a decrease in the number of statutory nuisance complaints made to Bournemouth council.

Across all the councils, the biggest reason for complaints was noise.

Cllr John Rampton, cabinet member for the environment at Poole council, said that the rise in Poole - from 1,223 to 1,251 - was to be expected with the population increasing.

“I think nowadays we find people are living closer than ever before,” he said.

“We have more flats and obviously when you are in closer proximity noise will be more noticeable.

“Usually we find that most of the issues are resolved just by talking to the people involved and we rarely have to take any legal action.” The figures have been made public following research from Churchill Home Insurance after it sent Freedom of Information requests to councils across the country.

Christchurch and East Dorset councils reported the largest increase, with the number of complaints climbing from 1,009 in 2015/16 to 1,257 the following year.

Martin Scott, head of Churchill home insurance, said: “It is a worrying indictment of modern society that so many people are failing to take responsibility for their communities, keeping noise and other disturbances to a minimum.

“Living next to a poorly maintained property, or loud and disruptive neighbours, can not only be a harrowing ordeal but could also affect the long-term value of your home if you were to look to sell.

“Council enforcement of environmental regulations is crucial to ensure the actions of inconsiderate individuals don’t blight the lives of others.

“Living next to a noisy neighbour can be extremely debilitating and have a serious impact on the mental wellbeing of the victim.”

As well as falling - from 1,354 to 1,271 - in Bournemouth, North Dorset District Council also saw the number of complaints decrease, from 286 to 248.

Neither Purbeck nor New Forest District Council provided responses to the requests.

Across the South West, more than 47,000 complaints were made to councils between August 1, 2016 and July 31, 2017.

More than half (58 per cent) were complaints about noise issues with the second-highest type of complaint for air pollution (11 per cent).

Nationally, almost 600,000 complaints were made over the year.