The Malta Independent 26 June 2022, Sunday

Lack of enforcement leads Sliema residents to consider legal action against venue over noise

Shona Berger Monday, 20 June 2022, 09:24 Last update: about 5 days ago

A number of Sliema residents are considering taking legal action against a particular venue due to the excessive noise it generates every summer, in the hope of seeing more enforcement by the authorities.

It is no news that excessive noise from a number of establishments in Sliema has irked nearby residents for years, but no one has listened to or done anything about their complaints. Consequently, the lack of enforcement is leading Sliema residents to consider taking legal action.

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Noise has also been an issue in Valletta, especially after a legal notice was recently issued stipulating that establishments in some of the most popular streets in the country’s capital city can play music outdoors until 1am.

Residents residing in a particular block of flats in Sliema, located right opposite to an entertainment venue, have had enough, arguing that everyone has their limits.

The mentioned venue is a pool and lido by the seaside where parties and events are regularly organised during the summer months. When such events are held, speakers are usually playing blaring music, creating disturbing and irritating noise for the residents nearby, they said.

One of the residents who resides in the block of flats mentioned, explained that this situation has been going on for years on end with different operators.

“The main aim of the legal action is to drive the authorities to pull up their socks and do their jobs. This is not a question of there being no legislation, thus one cannot do anything about the matter, but this is a question of enforcing the law that is already there,” the resident said.

In 2006, a permit was issued instructing commercial premises that the playing of music by whatever means inside, when they are not licensed to play amplified music, shall stop by 11pm and between 1pm and 4pm.

Nonetheless, if any music is played, this is not to be heard from anywhere outside, including the streets and nearby residential buildings causing annoyance or inconvenience to neighbours, this newsroom was told.

The resident highlighted that this particular venue organises different events. The resident said that, “at times, it just organises events such as an open bar, with some background music being played, which, to be fair, can be bearable. But other times, the venue organises massive parties with International DJs that usually start early afternoon and end late at night.”

Around two years ago, the same block of flats had teamed up with a couple of other apartments to take legal action over the noise issue, but this proved to be futile because the relevant authorities still did nothing over their complaints, and the situation remained the same.

“The bottom line of all of this is that they just don’t care. When reports are made to the police, we are often faced with a reply telling us that the Police Force does not have enough resources, and does not have the time to deal with such minor matters. In addition, if one calls with a complaint at 11pm, one is lucky enough to have the police come by midnight. This has ended up being a question of being at the mercy of authorities that don’t do their job and others who do,” the resident said.

The resident added that “a situation of this sort falls under the responsibility of the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) as it has the power to take away licenses of establishments or impose penalties. The fines that are issued by the Police Force have no effect on this particular establishment, as it sells enough to pay them off, without harming their finances in any way.”

“Although we understand that the authorities are busy with their work and might not always have enough resources, it has arrived at a point where it is too much and something needs to change. This is an existing problem that residents who live on the Sliema front face every year,” the resident said. 

Another resident who also lives in the same block of flats expressed her concern that the change in law with regard to the playing of music being allowed till 1am in Valletta, will also transpire in other localities, such as Sliema.

“It is already bad enough that we have to deal with the blaring music every weekend till 11pm. We don’t want to have to deal with this till 1am as well,” she said.

 

 

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