AROUND 30 families that make up the community of property owners of number three Plaza del Congreso Eucaristico in Elche are fighting for their right to get a ‘decent night’s sleep’. They are considering taking criminal proceedings action against the town hall for allegedly not taking appropriate action to stop the noise since it was first reported in 2008.
The most recent sound level test of the nearby leisure area was conducted by local police mid-May. Noise level limit is 45 decibels (dBA), but the noise being generated by the pub ‘The Clap’ was 67.4dBA, restaurant Arenal 65.4dBA and hamburger stall Africa and Cafe Paris were 66.2dBA.
Residents say the main source of noise is usually the voices and laughter of the guests and the noise of furniture and garbage containers being moved, especially at closing times. According to existing restrictions, terraces can be used until 11pm Sundays through Thursdays and until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
Currently they operate until midnight weekdays and until 1.30am on weekends. Numerous individuals have complained since 2008 and a joint complaint filed by the community in February.
“The town hall said that they would notify the businesses informing them that they need to keep the noise levels down and close at the designated times, but this has not been done,” said Mari Luz Costa, spokeswoman for the affected homeowners. “We have waiting patiently this past month because of the change over of the team managing the town hall, but at the same time we believe that something should have been done last week as this has been going on long enough, but the situation is the same,” said Costa.
In March there was a similar case of the residents of Alfonso XIII and Jose Ramos who were awarded €30,000 compensation from the town hall for their ‘inaction’ by the Valencia Regional Supreme Court, Costa pointed out. Plaza del Congreso Eucaristico have been in contact with other communities in other areas of Elche who are experiencing the same problem.
They have a Facebook group ‘Elche sin ruidos’ – Elche without noise – which unites these property owners. Elche Town Hall was contacted but did not comment on the situation.
By Nicole Hallett