Thursday, March 31, 2005

Noise is making our lives “a daily misery,” say Residents

Ocean Village works complaints - Residents from Marina Court, Portland House and Glacis Estate have complained that the noise levels from the Ocean Village development under construction are making their lives “a daily misery.”

They say works are affecting their quality of life by interfering with their sleep even during bank holidays, and state that although residents in the vicinity are not against the project, they do resent living in a building site every day of the week since the 12 metre depth excavation commenced in February. It is understood some residents are considering legal action in the form of an injunction to stop
the works.

In a statement to the Chronicle yesterday, Marina Court resident and spokesman for the management committee Paul Victor said the Gibraltar Government should review existing noise nuisance laws to deal with these kind of situations. Mr Victor also criticises the developers of Ocean Village and argues that although they give assurances in the end “they do what they want.” Residents are also dissatisfied with the “shoddy fencing” around the project. Mr Victor said:

“The developers release a considerable amount of propaganda to promote how good the project will end up being, but in the meantime they subject us to a daily misery.”

He continued:

“As most of Gibraltar was enjoying a well earned lie in on Commonwealth bank holiday Monday, the residents of Glacis Estate, Portland House and Marina Court were woken to the harmonic sounds of pneumatic drills. This noise commencing at 7.45am. Indeed on the following Tuesday residents were again awoken before the 8.00 am deadline to the sound of a large crane cranking up its engine.

The Ocean Village developers provided the residents of Marina Court with a letter of undertaking that the machinery used would be the quietest available and that on Sundays and Bank Holidays no work would be undertaken. So much for their undertakings!”

Mr Victor said they hoped to make the general public aware that residents are at “the losing end” when living adjacent to new developments under construction, while stating that Gibraltar’s laws “sadly appear to be somewhat archaic and favour the developers.”

He further states that the only available option seem to be the courts since Government Departments charged with the monitoring of construction projects appear “powerless” to take any action to curb “the excesses of developers.” He added:

“We sometimes wonder who checks the safety of the equipment being used on-site as residents were witness some days ago to the pilling machine breaking down and the oil from one of the pneumatic hoses spilling on to the pedestrian pathway below – you just have to walk by the site to see for yourself the grey spill marks on the pavement. We wonder what would have happened if the high pressure oil would have spilt on to the numerous school children who make their way to school on a daily basis through this same walkway.”


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