Couple fined as neighbour complains about 'irritating and stressful' classical music

29 February 2016, 10:49 | Updated: 1 March 2016, 21:12

Janice Lee and Edgar Rochwalksi of Greymouth, New Zealand slapped with $500 fine for the volume of their classical music

A New Zealand couple has been fined by their local council after their neighbour complained about the volume of their classical music.

Janice Lee, 70, says that she and her husband listen to classical radio network Radio New Zealand Concert while working in their garage. They claim their music is not too loud and can't be heard outside the building. 

However, their neighbour says that the music is disrupting and affecting her life and family. "We can't go outside to enjoy a barbecue or play with my son in the garden because I can hear classical music being played very loudly," she told reporters. "It's bouncing off the tin garage and is very irritating and stressful."

In January, the couple received a visit and a written notice from Grey District Council following complaints from their neighbour. A few weeks later they received an infringement notice with the fine. Lee said they felt victimised by their neighbour's repeated complaints about the music.

The council said: "As a local authority, we can only focus on excessive noise. Music played loudly but not excessively loud can be seriously intrusive and a source of immense discomfort to neighbours. This is the situation here."

Lee and Rochwalksi are appealing the $500 fine.