Thousands of complaints were recorded in Epping Forest as noisy neighbours caused a headache during the first year of the pandemic.

Epping Forest Council recorded 2,001 noise complaints linked to neighbours between April 2020 and March this year, according to new figures. That was 1,514 complaints for every 100,000 people .

The number of complaints soared from 1,586 the year before – a 26% increase – as people across the area were confined to their homes for sustained periods of lockdown.

The Local Government Association, which represents local authorities, said councils were working to tackle the problem.

Nesil Caliskan, from the LGA, said: "With many people living in high density, urban areas, complaints about noise nuisance are common.

"Councils are doing what they can to respond to noise complaints in communities, and to tackle persistent behaviour that makes peoples’ lives a misery."

Based on the number of statutory nuisance complaints linked to neighbourly noise, the figures suggest the place with the noisiest neighbours in the UK was Kensington and Chelsea, where more than 15,000 complaints were made, roughly 9,900 for every 100,000 people.

The Government has assembled the Interdepartmental Panel on Costs and Benefits (Noise) to consider the implications of the latest evidence around noise and will use the findings to update Government guidance where necessary.

Local authorities are responsible for investigating complaints about issues that could be a statutory nuisance and have a duty to carry out inspections to detect and investigate nuisance complaints, including those concerning excessive noise.