Loud church bells creates ding dong
THE BELLS at a Liskeard church are "destroying the peace and quiet" of the town, a businessman has claimed.
Graham Dutnall, who lives and works from his Pound Street home, has said that the bells at St Martin's Church are rung too often and are too loud.
He said he recently measured them from his nearby property at 85 decibels.
However, church leaders have hit back and said the regular rhythmic chimes help make Liskeard special.
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But Mr Dutnall said: "Pubs, restaurants, cafes and shops have to have a licence to make noise like that; but for some reason church bells seem to be out of the loop – they can do what they like.
"Liskeard is a beautiful, peaceful town but this is ruining all that; it is destroying the peace and quiet in Liskeard.
"They make a hell of a lot of noise; they are designed to be heard."
Mr Dutnall said he had a direct line of sight to the church and had no way of escaping the noise.
"At the right place and at the right time there's nothing wrong with it," he said.
"But it is so frequent and so loud."
In response, the Reverend Tony Ingleby, told the Cornish Guardian that Liskeard was lucky to have a dedicated team of bell-ringers, who play regularly.
"The team ring every Thursday evening and at 11am and 6pm on Sunday. They are also chimed on a Wednesday, although this is not as loud," he explained.
"People had previously reported the bells to the council's environmental health officers but they decided that it was within normal ranges. If people have issues with them then I happy to talk about it, but I have not had any complaints.
"When this issue was raised a few years ago there was a great many letters written in support of the bells."
He continued: "When you go and live somewhere that is near a church the chances are that there are going to be bells rung. There is a church tower and you can see it from the A38.
"Most people see it as an advantage to hear the bells."
Mr Dutnall recently wrote to Liskeard Town Council to complain about the noise, which in turn suggested that he contact Cornwall Council's environmental health department.
A spokesman for Cornwall Council said: "The Community Protection team of the Council's Public Health and Protection Service investigate complaints of noise from various sources. The main legislation that is used when assessing statutory noise nuisance complaints is the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
"There are no set noise limits when determining what a statutory noise nuisance is so trained officers need to determine whether any noise being complained about is an unreasonable interference.
"Many factors are considered when assessing a noise nuisance complaint including the time, duration, frequency and reasonableness of the noise being complained about.
"Each complaint is investigated on its own merits and where it is considered necessary formal action can be taken to ensure that any nuisance is abated."