Community Advisory Panel on Neighbourhood Noise holds inaugural meeting
Apr 29, 2022
The Municipal Services Office (MSO) and the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) convened a Community Advisory Panel (CAP) on Neighbourhood Noise on 29 Apr 2022. The CAP will be developing a set of community norms to address the issue of noise disturbance faced by residents, in particular noise from neighbours and noise from groups gathering in common areas.
2 Senior Minister of State for National Development, Ms Sim Ann, first announced plans to convene the CAP at MND’s Committee of Supply debate in March 2022. There has been an increasing number of feedback cases related to neighbourhood noise since 2020, likely due to more residents spending more time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The CAP is part of an integrated response to the issue of neighbourhood noise, and looks at shaping positive community norms to mitigate neighbourhood noise disturbances.
3 These norms developed by the CAP should reflect a shared understanding within our community, on what constitutes reasonable or unreasonable disturbances and what good neighbourly behaviour to reduce noise disturbances on our neighbours is. These norms can help facilitate dialogue and discussion among neighbours with differences in views over noise issues. They will also serve as a useful benchmark and common reference for public advisories, when facilitating mediation and decision-making at the Community Disputes Resolution Tribunal.
4 Chaired by Dr William Wan, General Secretary of the Singapore Kindness Movement, the CAP comprises 9 representatives from the social, academia and people sectors. These members have experience and expertise in managing municipal issues, advocating positive social norms, mediating disputes as well as in acoustic engineering (refer to Annex A
for the full list of CAP members).
5 The CAP, which will be established from April 2022, will fulfil the following objectives:
a. establish a set of norms on acceptable or unacceptable noise levels when living in a community; and
b. propose a set of community norms on noise management to foster harmonious living, i.e. good habits for neighbours to show consideration for one another and reduce noise disturbances.
6 To ensure that the voices from the community are heard, MSO and MCCY will work with the CAP to organise public consultation sessions from June 2022. MSO will also undertake research to draw relevant best practices from overseas. Findings from both the research and public engagements will be used to guide the recommendations of the Panel. The Panel is expected to submit their recommendations to MND and MCCY by the end of 2022. More details on the scope of CAP’s work can be found on https://www.mnd.gov.sg/mso/initiatives/community-advisory-panel
7 “Disputes among neighbours over noise do strain our social cohesion. Yet, what constitutes unacceptable noise is subjective as different people have different levels of tolerance. The Panel seeks to engage a wide segment of the public in a conversation about how we deal with noise disturbances in the community. The Panel also aims to foster a stronger consensus on how we can accommodate and live harmoniously with one another, and be kinder and more considerate to one another,” said Dr William Wan, Chairperson of the Community Advisory Panel on Neighbourhood Noise.
8 Senior Minister of State for National Development, Ms Sim Ann, said, “The pandemic has changed many things in our society, and one of them could well be our tolerance for noise. I hope the Panel can help us arrive at reasonable community expectations and obligations when it comes to maintaining peace and quiet in our neighbourhoods.”