AUDIO: Four years of ruff justice for Wisbech man who designed computer program to record neighbour’s noisy dogs
SOFTWARE engineer Paul Brett has designed a computer program to record his neighbour’s noisy dogs in a desperate bid to get the council to take action.
Father-of-two Mr Brett, from Wisbech, first reported the barking to Fenland District Council in 2008, claiming it was making his family’s life a “living hell”.
The 41-year-old spent almost FOUR YEARS logging daily disturbances, giving witness statements and recording noise - but the council claims it has proved “very difficult” to gather enough evidence to take successful court action.
Mr Brett said: “Somebody else is determining when I can have a good night’s sleep and when I can use my garden. They’re scheduling my life for me and it’s very annoying.
“I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have to sit in my own home and record every time the dogs bark.
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“I’ve even written a computer program to help me do it, leaving a microphone outside and feeding it through to the speakers in the house.”
Mr Brett who lives at Northfield House, Wisbech, said problems started in 2008 after neighbouring Westfield House was sold to a developer who owns a dog security firm.
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His original complaint was closed after insufficient noise was logged but the council reopened it in 2009 after fresh submissions.
Mr Brett was provided with recording equipment and filled an entire two-hour memory card with the barking in just one day. The council took witness statements from Mr Brett and his wife Andrea but still no action was taken.
In October 2010, calibrated recording equipment was fitted in Mr Brett’s home and the following year council representatives spent hours in the property to observe the noise.
The owner of Westfield House failed to attend council interviews and in August last year, a notice was hand delivered to the property informing him that he had 14 days to stop causing a “statutory nuisance”.
But the council has still not taken legal action and instead plan to return to Mr Brett’s property with a THIRD set of “court admissible” recording equipment.
A council spokesman said: “We regret the time it is taking to resolve this very difficult problem. Some of the delay has been down to us and we have apologised to Mr Brett for that.
“Since serving a noise abatement notice on Mr Brett’s neighbours last August, we have made lengthy visits to his home on at least four occasions.
“Unfortunately, each time the barking has not been at a level that would constitute a clear breach of the notice.
“We have also made repeated efforts to get the dogs’ owners to take appropriate steps to reduce the noise.
“Our investigation is continuing and more monitoring is scheduled to determine what further action we can take.”
Mr Brett said: “It’s just a catalogue of errors - uncalibrated equipment, council staff leaving and mistakes in the paperwork.
“Something needs to be done.”
Westfield House is currently up for sale, valued at �415,950.