NOISE POLLUTION OUT OF CONTROL: IRON FIST REQUIRED

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It was suggested that construction work being carried out on Sunday in a residential area should be classified as noise nuisance and addressed in an amended Noise Abatement Act. This suggestion was put forward by Third District Representative, and Opposition Member Hon. Julian Fraser as he complained about construction works menacingly plaguing Sundays of resting persons.

While speaking in the Private Members segment of the House of Assembly on 2 September Hon. Fraser called on the Attorney General (AG) to look at the Noise Abatement Act and consider this matter.

The Third District Representative told his colleagues that dealing with the noise of construction on a Sunday should not be a norm. While referring to the Noise Abatement Act Hon. Fraser said: “We have been careful in making sure that people can’t have loud music and other noise beyond a certain time at night; but what about this nuisance that we have called construction on Sundays in neighborhoods where people live.”

“I know we put up with it, we tolerate it Monday through Fridays, even Saturdays; and into the nights, but when Sunday comes. Members of this Hon. House need to take a careful look at how our people treat their neighbours and what’s good and right in that regard. So, AG the Noise Abatement Act we need to take a good look at that,” Hon. Fraser stated.

A BVI resident who lives in Road Town told The Island Sun that motorcyclists make deliberate noise day and night 24/7 all over the place. They parade back and forth and disturb the peace and the patients of the hospital and those residing at the Adina Donovan for the Elderly. Then they rally together so that the noise pollution becomes utterly unbearable: “And now by a stroke of genius, yes Genius capital G, we are going to licence bigger motorcycles: prepare for hell, or migrate,” he said.

A review of the Noise Abatement Act has been proposed for more than 12 years. It is hardly enforced and those living in Road Town must endure all the noise and roaring litanies from the cruise ship pier.  The most noted push to stop what is an out of control noise pollution and outright nuisance was made by former Complaints Commissioner (Ombudsman) Elton Georges in a report titled “For Peace Sake.”

However, nothing became of the call. In fact, an update was provided to the House of Assembly last year in the Eighth Annual Report from the Office of the Complaints Commission that was prepared by current Complaints Commissioner Sheila Brathwaite, and laid on the table at the 11 October sitting of the House of Assembly.

In her report under the Own Motion Investigations section, Complaints Commissioner Brathwaite stated that some of the recommendations that were noted in the “For Peace’ Sake” investigation that was done by former Complaints Commissioner Elton Georges in 2015 are still in limbo.

She stated: “For Peace’ Sake” was an OMI completed in 2015, however the recommendations are still comatose. The first recommendation to establish a Noise Policy with a view to revising the Noise Control and Abatement Act, 1996 will be looked at in earnest during the 2017 legislation agenda cycle according to Ministry of Health and Social Development.”

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