Are places of worship a noise nuisance for local residents?

The ringing of church bells and the call to prayer can be lovely reminders of reverence and joy to its listeners. But in the world of home moving and 'buyer beware’ are places of worship a highlight or a nuisance for the local area?

One doesn’t have to search too far into the headlines to see that places of worship are having a personal impact on their local neighbours.

There are supporters on both sides of the church yards and both the lovers and complainers are having their say.

There are instances where bells, which have been ringing for 100 years have been quieted by complaints of noise nuisances. Sometimes at the dismay of locals who find the bells charming and an integral component of their village life.

Not too many years ago a gospel church was actually fined for their rambunctiously noisy services after noise pollution officers recorded their sound levels and found the volumes to be a nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act.

Along this same ’note' a new mosque to be built in Birmingham has plans to reach a 15 mile radius with their call to prayer speaker system. This system, which will be louder than a jet engine, may delight local Muslims who value this noise, while potentially irritating others who will be woken by the call.

Beyond bells, choir noise, parking and litter could be seen as an issue by some residents living near busy churches

Looking even closer into this topic - living near a place of worship could have a plethora of nuisances (or highlights as the case may be) outside the realm of noisy disturbances.

Beyond the bells and calls to prayer are the crowds and everything that might come with a crowd: litter and traffic to name a few.

Even beyond the crowds, when it comes to living near a place of worship there could even be an unknown financial obligation. As the chancel repair liability could make a new home-mover obligated to pay for certain repairs to their local parish - welcome to the neighbourhood.

Church Bells - A highlight or nuisance for home movers?

It might be painting a rather bleak, or nuisance-y, picture when it comes to living near a place of worship, but of course many home-movers might see this as a real highlight.

There’s the story of the 100 year old church that rang its bells on the hour every hour and the elderly lady who lived right next door who was upset when the bells were silenced. The bells were a meaningful part of her life in her community.

There are even more desirable reasons to live near a place of worship especially when you are looking for places for your family to attend services or you need to be in a catchment area for your children to attend the faith school.

What can home movers do?It’s an interesting debate and one we want to pay close attention to, in fact Property Detective's very first reports back in 2011 told you if you could hear church bells ring in your area.

Currently we note Places of Worship and include them in our report as noise nuisances and in the amenities section for some of the reasons mentioned above: Have you heard the church bells ring?

To go a bit deeper though at Property Detective we believe the informed mover is the mover without regrets. Whether you see living near a place of worship as desirable or a nuisance the point is that you know a place a worship is there.

Success should be when you aren't disappointed when you awake each morning by the bells or by the silence.

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