An average of 3 million UK households persistently suffer from noisy neighbours – a rise of 31% over the past five years, new research claims.

With loud music and raised voices listed as the top afflictions, 58% of victims suffer sleep deprivation and 12% say it has affected their personal relationships.

The government is set to review the Criminal Justice Bill to allow police to evict persisting noisemakers, but building legislation also needs to keep pace.

Ahead of Part E revisions in 2008, it is time to think about how new housing projects can be designed to accommodate modern and noisier lifestyles. Revised regulations should deal better with mid-range frequencies, such as speech, and they must address the levels that arise from powerful stereos and wall-mounted TVs. If Part E adapts to modern living, a good night’s sleep need not be a thing of the past.

David Holder, director, CMS Acoustic Solutions