Berlin to quash noise complaints caused by children

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4 Aug, 2009 Updated Tue 4 Aug 2009 10:38 CEST
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After several court cases over playground noise, the Berlin city government is planning to thwart crotchety complainers with a ban on lawsuits against noise disturbances by children, daily Berliner Morgenpost reported on Tuesday.

“Noise from playing children is a socially appropriate manifestation of young life and fundamentally tolerable in interest of the preservation of their development,” according to the text of Social Democrats’ proposed change to the city’s noise laws.

The amendment, expected to be passed by the city parliament this fall, is meant to prevent the inclusion of racket caused by children with “traffic noise and jackhammers,” SPD spokesperson for youth and family issues Sandra Scheeres told the paper.

“It’s important that children can romp,” she said. “That’s why child noise is part of life. It’s normal.”

The SPD wants to emphasise that public playgrounds, day care centres and schools must be tolerated in neighbourhoods, a reality that has come into question after courts ruled in favour of plaintiffs who said the noise was unbearable.

Last year in Berlin’s Friedenau district, for example, the Milchzahn day care centre was forced to change locations after a neighbour “felt disturbed,” and took the case to court, the paper said. A similar case was also successful in Hamburg.

Children’s advocacy groups have welcomed the SPD initiative, the paper reported.



2009/08/04 10:38

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