Historic church bells that have rung out over Croxley Green for 140 years have been silenced, following a single complaint from a resident.
All Saints Church on The Green was served with a noise abatement notice on Wednesday by Three Rivers District Council, banning the bells between the hours of 11pm and 7am.
Reverend Miriam Mugan said the historic mechanism which chimes the bell on the hour could not be set to operate between specific times so would have to be deactivated completely in order to comply with the notice.
She said: “It is a single strike on the hour, it doesn’t do the whole ding dong.
“People do sometimes grumble but they generally accept it is a part of village life and get used to it.
“We are looking at what our options are at the moment but we are a church and cannot really bear the cost of an expensive hearing.”
The complaint is understood to have originated from a Windmill Drive resident and prompted an environmental health officer to investigate. They concluded the noise level was indeed above statutory limits.
But residents have been quick to leap to the defence of the church, arguing that the bells are an important part of the community.
Mark Saxon, of Frankland Road, said: “As far as I can tell it is simply one person who lives nearby.
“It is just ridiculous that one person can say ‘I don’t like something which has been going for hundreds of years’ and it’s just stopped.
“I hope a lot of people in Three Rivers will get together and ask the council to reconsider its decision because there are far bigger issues in politics these days than church bells. Church bells are a part of what Croxley Green is all about.”
A Three Rivers District Council spokesman said: “A complaint about noise at night which was disturbing sleep was investigated. We have a legal duty to investigate noise complaints.
“The recipient has 21 days to appeal against the notice.”