About Community Advisory Panel on Neighbourhood Noise

Neighbourhood noise can be a complex issue, and may be the cause of unhappiness between neighbours. There has been an increased number of feedback cases pertaining to noise since 2020, which is likely due to the increased number of residents staying home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The set-up of a Community Advisory Panel (CAP) on Neighbourhood Noise was announced by Senior Minister of State for National Development, Ms Sim Ann, at the 2022 Committee of Supply Debate on 8 March 2022.

The Panel aims to define what is deemed as unacceptable noise disturbances and what constitutes good community norms that residents should observe to reduce noise disturbances to their neighbours. In particular, the CAP will look at noise from neighbours and congregational noise in common areas.

The norms recommended by the Panel will help neighbours to have a common expectation of acceptable noise levels, and better communicate with one another, as well as facilitate mediation and decision-making at the Community Disputes Resolution Tribunal.

The CAP conducted extensive consultation with the public in the course of developing the proposed community norms, and submitted their recommendations on Nov 2022. MSO is currently reviewing their recommendations.


Recommendations on Neighbourhood Noise

Drawing from the inputs gathered from the public engagements, CAP has produced a report with their recommendations to manage neighbourhood noise. The report includes CAP’s definition of acceptable and unacceptable noises in the community, and their proposed community norms for residents to adopt to mitigate noise disturbances to their neighbours:

i. Resolve issues with neighbours through informal discussions and relationship building, instead of approaching the authorities to intervene in the first instance

ii. Adhere to the quiet hours, which CAP recommended to be extended to between 10pm to 8am

iii. Practice considerate behaviours to create a peaceful and harmonious living environment within and outside the quiet hours

 

The report also highlights that community norms alone are insufficient to manage the issue. Hence, the Panel has recommended for the Government to review the process to manage disputes over community noise, appropriately and efficaciously supported by enforcement powers. Please refer to the reports below (click on the images to find out more).


Recommendation Summary Infographics
by CAP 

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Full Recommendation Report
by CAP

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CAP would like to thank the members of the public who have contributed to this report by sharing their experiences with us. Your views and perspectives has helped guide the Panel in their deliberation of a set of norms for the community. While the Panel is unable to cover the needs of every individual, we hope that our recommendations will address the crux of the noise issue and lead to a better overall outcome for the community.


Noise Experiential Lab

NEL Updated
 
We invite you to join us at the Noise Experiential Lab to learn more about neighbour noise! Housed in a vacant HDB block, visitors can participate in a curated, interactive experience spread across various units to simulate scenarios between neighbours. Through the experience, visitors will experience how different actions create noises, and how these noises are transmitted and experienced by the surrounding units. Visitors can also learn the effectiveness of various actions in reducing noise levels.
 
The Lab is located at Blk 36 Tanglin Halt Road. It will be open to the public until 31 Jan 2024 and admission is free. Visitors who wish to find out more information on the Lab or sign up for a visit can do so at www.go.gov.sg/noiselab


Public Engagement 

The public engagements are now closed. The Community Advisory Panel would like to thank participants for taking time to share your views. Over the past few months, the Panel has heard from close to 4,400 members of the public on their experiences and suggestions for neighbourhood noise through the various engagements conducted. The Panel has seen a wide range of perspectives from the participants, and has summarised the findings below.

Key Findings from Public Consultations Conducted by CAP (click image to find out more)

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Public Engagements Conducted

Online survey

We had conducted an online survey on the quiet hours for Singapore, acceptable or unacceptable noises, and good neighbourly behaviour to reduce noise disturbances. The survey is now closed.
 

Focus Group Discussions

We organised the following focus group discussions to invite the public to join our conversation on how we can better manage neighbourhood noise.


Date & Time Venue Registration
28 May (Sat), 9.30am – 12.30pm MND Complex at 5 Maxwell Road, S069110 Registrations are now closed.

This was a closed-door session for MSO's partners.
22 June (Wed), 7.30 – 10.00pm PA HQ Auditorium at 9 King George’s Avenue S208581 Registrations are now closed.

This was a closed-door session for grassroot leaders and volunteers.
24 June (Fri), 7.30 – 10.00pm Keat Hong CC Function Room at 2 Choa Chu Kang Loop Registrations are now closed.

This was a closed-door session for grassroot leaders and volunteers.
16 July (Sat) 9.30am – 12.30pm Kebun Baru CC at 216 Ang Mo Kio Ave 4, S569897 Registrations are now closed.
23 July (Sat), 9.30am – 12.30pm Our Tampines Hub at 1 Tampines Walk, S528523 Registrations are now closed.
30 July (Sat), 2.00 – 5.00pm Radin Mas CC at 51 Telok Blangah Cres, S098917 Registrations are now closed.
6 Aug (Sat), 9.30am – 12.30pm The Frontier CC at 60 Jurong West Central 3, S648346 Registrations are now closed.
13 Aug (Sat), 9.30am – 12.30pm MND Complex at 5 Maxwell Road, S069110 Registrations are now closed.

Supported by our community partners, this FGD discussed discuss specifically about noise from activities, which includes noises generated by children playing in common spaces and within units, and noises from congregation of people at common areas.
20 Aug (Sat), 9.30am – 12.30pm MND Complex at 5 Maxwell Road, S069110 Registrations are now closed.
10 Sep (Sat), 9.30am – 12.30pm Nee Soon Central CC Level 2 Function Room 2 at 1 North Point Dr, S768019 Registrations are now closed.
16 Sep (Fri), 6.30pm – 9.30pm SPH Auditorium at 1000 Toa Payoh North, News Centre Auditorium (Level 1), S318944 Registrations are now closed. 

This FGD was organised with Lianhe Zaobao, and discussions were held in Mandarin.

Due to limited slots, we may not be able to accommodate everyone. We will send a confirmation email with more details closer to the date if you are selected for the session. We will also provide a $30 voucher as a token of appreciation for participants who attended the full session.

Keep a look out here or on our social media channels for the latest details!

Pls write in to oneservice_community@mnd.gov.sg should you have query or feedback on CAP work.

About Community Norms on Neighbourhood Noise

Neighbourhood noise can be broken down into two categories:

a. Noise from neighbours, which refers to noise from neighbouring units. This can include noise from daily activities (e.g. noise from television, music or gatherings), noise from movement or items (e.g. furniture dragging, heavy footsteps or slamming of doors) and noise from renovations or DIY works.

b. 
Congregational noise, which refers to noise generated in residential common areas such as void decks, basketball courts, exercise areas, multi-purpose halls etc.

We recognise that neighbourhood noise is inevitable in a densely populated country like Singapore where residents stay close in proximity with one another. However, the issue is worsened when there is a lack of consideration or communication between neighbours. Some examples of noise issues faced by residents include noise from the dragging of furniture throughout the day, karaoke sessions at night, children playing along the common corridor, congregation of people at common areas at night, and noise from pets. The noise generated can disturb work, study or rest time of neighbours, and have a negative impact on their lives.

As part of an integrated response to mitigate neighbourhood noise, the Panel has recommended a set of community norms to address neighbourhood noise. These will serve as a reference point for the community in resolving conflict and disputes among themselves. Practising consideration for each other, based on a shared set of norms, is important for creating a harmonious and considerate living environment for everyone.

These norms will seek to establish an acceptable set of best practices that residents should abide by to minimise noise levels.

General

Respect the quiet hours (10.30pm to 7am) when you are at home or in a residential area.

When gathering in common areas such as playgrounds or coffeeshops, minimise noise especially during quiet hours.


Renovation-related

Work on your DIY projects during the daytime and try to complete them within a short timeframe if possible.

Keep your neighbours in mind and noises under control! Use items to soundproof the room or absorb the noise during the renovation.

Seek your neighbours’ understanding by informing them in advance of your renovation works.

Avoid DIY renovations during quiet hours.


Movement-related

Gentle on the floor, gentle on our ears! Lift your furniture, if possible, when moving it. If it is too heavy to be lifted, use items such as furniture sliders to absorb the noise.

Using exercise mats to absorb the noise will lead to a more comfortable workout environment for everyone.

Using door stoppers will prevent accidental slamming of doors.



Activity-related

Avoid playing musical instruments during quiet hours.

Lower your TV volume anduse headphones for gaming activities.

If your child is playing, teach them to be mindful of noise levels. Monitor their noise levels and ask them to quieten down particularly during quiet hours.

Place play mats to cushion noise from stomping, jumping, and slamming of toys on the floor.

Keep the entertainment within your unit! Close your windows and doors to prevent noise from affecting others.

Avoid noisy gatherings during quiet hours


Pets-related

Try to move your pets to an enclosed room if they are making excessive noise.

Train your pets to avoid excessive noise from them and seek professional assistance if needed.

For bird owners, cover your birdcages in the evening to allow your birds time to rest.


Members of the Community Advisory Panel

Dr William Wan
Chairperson
Senior Consultant, Singapore Kindness Movement
Dr William Wan
Dr Foo Fung Fong
Member
Executive Director, Filos Community Services
Dr Foo Fung Fong
Prof Gan Woon-Seng
Member
Professor of Audio Engineering and Director of Smart Nation Lab, School of Electrical Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University
Prof Gan Woon-Seng
Mr Isman Bin Abdul Rahman
Member
Vice Chairman, Woodlands Community Club Management Committee
Mr Isman Bin Abdul Rahman
Ms Lela Kaur
Member
Master Mediator, Community Mediation Centre
Ms Lela Kaur
Dr Leong Chan-Hoong
Member
Head of Policy Development, Evaluation and Data Analytics, Kantar Public
Dr Leong Chan-Hoong
Ms Susan Ng
Member
Presenter, CNA938, Mediacorp Pte Ltd
Ms Susan Ng
Mr Raymond Poh
Member
Vice Chairman, Tampines Central Citizens’ Consultative Committee
Mr Raymond Poh
Dr Sathish s/o Sritharan
Member
Chairman, Taman Jurong Zone D Residents’ Network
Dr Sathish s:o Sritharan

FAQs

1. Why did the Government set up a Community Advisory Panel to address the issue of neighbourhood noise?
We have seen an increase in feedback pertaining to noise from neighbours and congregational noise in common areas, likely because more people are staying at home in view of the ongoing pandemic. The Panel is one of the initiatives that we are exploring to address noise-related issues faced by residents and create a better living environment for everyone.

There are challenges in addressing noise issues. Firstly, noise is subjective, and everyone has different tolerance for different types of noise. Secondly, noise is transient, and it can be difficult to pinpoint and enforce against. Thus, the Government is looking at establishing a set of community norms nation-wide to provide a reference point for the community. The norms will guide residents and government agencies on acceptable noise levels and considerate behaviour towards one another in the context of noise.

As this concerns all residents, the Government has set up the Community Advisory Panel to work with Singaporeans, and to enable Singaporeans to have conversations with one another in co-creating these norms which we can own as a community.

2. How big is the problem of neighbourhood noise?
In 2020, HDB received about 2,500 cases of feedback per month relating to noise from residents’ activities, including renovation noise. Such feedback increased by about 25% in 2021 to 3,200 per month. The increase was likely due to more people staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The most common reason for complaints is renovation noise. Other common reasons include noise from dragging of furniture or dropping of items, noise from slamming of gates/doors/windows, noise from children playing or babies crying, noise from TV/radio, and noise from gatherings.

3. What are the key deliverables and when will the CAP be expected to submit their recommendations?
The Panel will submit a report with the set of recommended norms on noise from neighbours and congregational noise in common areas by end 2022.

4. Will the public’s views be sought as part of the process? How can I get involved?
The Community Advisory Panel will involve members of the public through open surveys and public consultation sessions, to ensure that the views of the public are taken into consideration when developing the recommended norms.

More details of the engagement process will be released at a later stage. Please look out for more details on this page or on our social media channels (FB, Instagram).