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Blocking the driveway, stealing parking spaces and barking dogs – why we blank our neighbours

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Millions of Brits are currently not talking to at least one neighbour, a study has revealed. Researchers found that feuds over noisy kids, overflowing wheelie bins, parking spaces and out of control trees and shrubs are just some of the reasons for feuding families.

Six in ten adults are currently not talking to two neighbours, and 46% said they look the other way if they bump in to certain people that live nearby.

A more antagonising 10% said they simply give their neighbour a ‘frosty look’ if their paths cross.

Other grumbles included overhearing neighbours swearing and rowing when out in the garden and barking dogs.

The poll by Swinton, which they commissioned to coincide with the launch of their Great Britain’s Greatest Neighbour campaign, found the most common reason to fall out with neighbours was due to them blocking their drive.

But nearly one in ten simply said they ‘don’t like the look’ of their neighbours so never stop and chat to them.

Although a tenth of the 2000 adults polled said they have a ‘long running feud’ with their neighbour which has lasted more than four years.

Of those, 43% described it as a big bust up, although 14% said it was more of a petty squabble which dragged on.

Steve Chelton from Swinton said:

”The poll has shed light on how many feel about immediate and surrounding neighbours, this is why our campaign is centred around finding the Greatest Neighbours in our nation.

”Regardless of the day to day disagreements, it is important to try and keep good relationships with neighbours as you may be living next to them for some time and you never know when an emergency might occur.”

One in ten adults said their neighbours aren’t important in their everyday life, and 28% said they would never socialise with them.

The poll found that 17% of those polled said they were guilty of annoying their neighbours from time to time.

But a third of anti-social adults said it was easier to just snub their neighbours than make polite conversation and 12 per cent said they just weren’t important to their day to day life.

Furthermore just over a quarter avoid going in their own garden so they aren’t forced to make idle chitchat over the fence.

In fact, more than one in ten people said they have moved at least once to escape certain neighbours.

In contrast, a more upbeat 57% said it’s better if you get on with everyone.

And it’s not all bad news about our neighbours -11% said they’ve have helped them cut down trees and 71% rely on their nearest neighbours to take in parcels for them when they’re out.

More than a third have a mutual agreement with their neighbours where they bring in each other’s wheelie bins after they have been emptied.

And 78% have said they would call on neighbours in an emergency.

But nearly two thirds of the adults polled said they wouldn’t dream of leaving a house key with a neighbour.

And 26% of the adults polled said they didn’t know the names of both their next door neighbours.

Jim Maddan, the Neighbourhood and Home Watch Networks Chairman said:

”There are still lots of examples of neighbours getting along and working together for the benefit of their community.

One such example is Neighbourhood Watch – people join the Neighborhood Watch to make the areas where they live safe, friendly and pleasant places to be – and it works.”

Swinton‘s Steve Chelton added:

”Our campaign encourages people to nominate people in their community who really do demonstrate the best of neighbourly spirit, as we are sure there are many out there who epitomise what it means to be a great neighbour in Britain today.”


  1. They block my drive
  2. They park in my space
  3. Their dog barks all day
  4. Their garden is a tip
  5. You can hear them swearing when they are in the garden
  6. They are always rowing
  7. They host too many late night parties
  8. Their cats do their business in my garden
  9. Their kids are constantly loud when in the garden
  10. I just can’t be bothered to speak to them
  11. They have let their house go to wrack and ruin
  12. They light bonfires
  13. They let their wheelie bin overflow
  14. Their trees are blocking my light
  15. Their kids constantly kick a ball against my house
  16. They are always showing off and it winds me up
  17. Their kids peer over my fence all the time
  18. I just don’t like the look of them
  19. They got annoyed when I threw a party
  20. They don’t bring parcels around to my house when the postman leaves them at their house