A COUPLE were shocked after receiving a noise complaint from the council over laughing in their garden.
Shula and Jim Clark received the letter following a dinner party last month.
Child minder Shula had invited some friends over to her house in Marks Tey, Essex, and ended up staying up later than planned.
She told Essex Live: “We stayed up until 1.30am, we didn’t realise how late it had got.
“We are never out in our garden late apart from on this one occasion; I’m normally in bed by 9pm.
“Us girls went in at about 11pm but the men stayed out later.
“We had some music playing inside but it wasn’t loud.”
The gathering happened on a Saturday evening and by the Monday Shula had received a letter from Colchester Borough Council saying that a complaint had been made about laughing in her garden late at night.
She phoned the council and they confirmed that the complaint was for the night she had her dinner party.
Shula explained: “I found it quite amusing actually because we are never out late, this was the first time all year.
“My dad died earlier this year and quite honestly I really haven’t felt like it.
“I was shocked that someone would be so petty.”
The complaint also mentioned a light shining in Shula’s garden on some nights.
She explained that they had recently built an annex in the garden for her mum to live in and it is a security light that turns on when it detects movement.
After receiving the complaint Shula’s husband asked her mum who – lives in the annex in the garden – if they kept her up that evening and she said she didn’t hear them at all.
When the couple phoned the council to discuss the complaint, they offered to have them round to see the light and put in a formal complaint if necessary.
But Shula said they told her they understood her point and said it is procedure to follow up any complaints.
MOST READ IN NEWS
In a statement a Colchester Borough Council spokesperson said: “Our environmental protection team received a complaint that a resident was being repeatedly disturbed into the early hours at weekends by noise from raised voices and loud laughter in a neighbour’s garden.
“The frequency and time of the disturbance indicated a potential statutory nuisance, which the council has a legal duty to investigate.
“In this instance, it was felt that sending an informal letter to the individuals concerned was the most appropriate initial response
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at [email protected] or call 0207 782 4368. You can WhatsApp us on 07810 791 502. We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours.