Velez risks further noise pollution fines

Despite €2.8m noise fine, the council’s sound level meter not working Local Police in Velez-Malaga have been unable to carry out noise tests in the town because the only sound level meter available has not been calibrated.

In the summer, the complaints regarding excessive noise in Velez-Malaga and Torre del Mar increase considerably. Velez-Malaga was the first town in the province to be sentenced for failing to prevent an acoustic contamination problem back in 2003.

A group of 18 residents in the Ipanema apartment block took the town hall to court after it failed to act upon repeated complaints over 13 years about the excessive noise at El Copo. The town hall was sentenced to pay €156,000 to each of them, and despite appealing, the sentence was confirmed in 2008 by the Supreme Court, setting the compensation at €2.8m.

Although the new Local Police councillor, Antonio Arrieta, has blamed the former tripartite governing team for not taking action to prevent further complaints, more than a month has passed since the Partido Popular took over and it still hasn’t been done.

Controversy has arisen since a disco from which a sound system was confiscated in May reopened in Torre del Mar for exceeding legal limits.

According to residents above the disco, it has been authorized to reopen without the town hall checking that noise levels taken by the company itself are correct, mainly because the town hall’s only meter can’t be used. The residents have reportedly not ruled out taking the case to court.

On the other hand, the town hall allegedly allowed the disco to open in fear that it would bring a complaint against the corporation for failing to properly check noise levels for this same reason.

It appears that the meter has now been sent to Sevilla to be calibrated and used to put a lid on this problem, and the mayor has said that if necessary, the town hall will engage the services of a private company to carry out the measurements if complaints against the disco continue. If the results are negative, the complaining residents may be required to pay for this test.

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