Calls for action to deal with noisy neighbours

Fed-up neighbours have demanded action to deal with complaints about charity tenants.

Last month the Herald reported complaints about disturbance from a property in Oldgate, Morpeth, run by Barnabas Safe and Sound as part of its supported living programme for young people.

The charity insisted that it had strong systems in place to deal with complaints, including staff on call round the clock and eviction powers.

But neighbours, who do not wish to be named, say it is not enough.

One resident said: “There seems to be really loud parties going on. There are cigarette butts on the ground, you hear shouting all the time, there doesn’t seem to be any respect for anybody.

“I’m 67 years old and all I want is a peaceful life. These tenants should be somewhere where there are other young people, not beside old pensioners on the main street.”

Another complainant said: “I’m all in favour of rehabilitating people in the community. People have to be given a start in life, particularly if they come from a difficult home situation, but this is predominantly a community of elderly people. There are complaints repeatedly about problems associated with the young tenants.

“There are people knocking on doors at two or three o’clock in the morning, shouting through windows, bad language, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. It is just so unnecessary.

“Isos is the landlord, Barnabas Safe and Sound runs the premises, Northumberland County Council places people with Barnabas and Northumbria Police is responsible for crime and disorder. It means there are four different complaints procedures and the police don’t know what complaints have been made.”

He added: “It is perhaps inappropriate to house these tenants in this area and they should be moved. If not, the property needs some degree of sound-proofing and there needs to be an independent element to inspect the property after people have been placed there.”

Police will hold a meeting with Barnabas and Isos to discuss the situation, followed by consultation with residents.

Barnabas Chief Executive Chris Menzies said: “I’m in regular contact with residents on either side of our property, but if there are other people with an interest in the area who would like to talk to me I would be happy to hear from them.

“There are measures we can take to address concerns. We have had conversations with Isos with regard to taking action about sound and we have paid for new carpets to go in. We are not averse to spending money on things that will reduce inconvenience for neighbours. We are very sympathetic about that.

“There is no lack of enthusiasm to address specific issues, but our residents have as much right to be there as the neighbours.”

A county council spokesman said: “We are aware of the reports of anti-social behaviour at the Barnabas Safe and Sound accommodation in Oldgate and are working closely with partners to review and address the situation. The council has policies in place whereby we monitor on a daily basis the young people that we have placed within the accommodation.”