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Ontario woman asks province to help quell neighbour's basketball noise

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You have to wonder how they'll be getting along now.

The province has rejected a Peterborough, Ont., woman's bid to probe the dribbling noise made by her 17-year-old neighbour, an aspiring basketball player.

It's the latest turn in a neighbour feud that went public last month, when Anne Langdon blasted out a press release describing her plea to the environment commissioner: Investigate whether the boy's basketball practices amounted to "unreasonable and excessive noise."

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Langdon, a writer who works from home, claimed the basketball sounds had perturbed her for three years, telling the National Post's Sarah Boesveld that the teenager's practices created an "echo-chamber" outside her bedroom window. When her neighbours, the Elliott family, began rolling out a wooden panel in front of the window to muffle the sounds, Langdon alleged they were blocking sunlight from entering her home – and violating the Environmental Protection Act.

This week, the ministry announced it had rejected Langdon's claim: "Basketball playing [is] a normal residential activity and associated noise is not exceptional enough to warrant an investigation," read a letter from the province, according to the National Post.

Besides the provincial ministry, Langdon had called her landlord and her city councillor, as well as her fire and police departments. She also demanded $25,000 in damages from the family, threatening a lawsuit. Neighbours circulated a petition that criticized Langdon's involvement of the province; they collected hundred of signatures from people in the area.

The Post's Boesveld described the fallout as a "heated city-wide debate about children's rights to play freely outdoors in a family-populated neighbourhood versus a private resident's right to peace and quiet." Anne Elliott, the mother of the basketball-loving boy, told the reporter last month: "Is this not just like a soap opera? It's wrecking our lives."

Neighbour feuds are common , and often even more agonizing than this particular spat.

In 2009, a Sudbury couple was ordered to pay more than $57,000 in damages for a 30-year campaign of terror that focused on sinking their neighbours' garage. (It was the perpetrator's "laughing" at her trembling garage that really got to the victim.)

Let's not forget the notorious Ralph Scala , whose harassment of 26 neighbours in Toronto's Junction neighbourhood involved roadkill, tomb stones and pitch forks choreographed on one neighbour's lawn, as well as post-traumatic stress for one victim.

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Have you ever had a bad neighbour? How did it end?

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