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Loud children no longer considered noise pollution

The Local · 16 Feb 2011, 15:16

Published: 16 Feb 2011 15:16 GMT+01:00

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In a move designed to shut down a debate which has reached fever pitch recently, the cabinet backed a measure to clamp down on noise complaints near day care centres and playgrounds.

The clarification is designed to prevent residents from feeling that they have grounds for legal action due to the noise created by loud children.

"We are setting a clear legislative signal for a child-friendly society with this law giving privileged status to children's noise," said Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen.

A conservative senior citizens group was widely condemned last week after a high-ranking member said that the noise from playgrounds and nurseries was like the “hammering of a pneumatic drill.”

But the new regulation will make clear that “the levels of noise from child care facilities and playgrounds and similar facilities are, as a rule, not damaging to the surround environment.”

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Paula Honkanen-Schoberth, head of the German Child Protection Association, welcomed the measure, saying children belonged at the heart of German society. “Forcing them to play behind noise barriers would send the signal that they are an unwanted disturbance,” she said.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:55 February 16, 2011 by c12dat
Oh this is too funny.

I do love Germans and their strict rule for noise. I wished that people have enough common sense to keep their daily volume level low.
17:02 February 16, 2011 by Clapoti
I also love Germans and their rule for noise... and strangely enough, I was never bothered by noise from the neighbours during the day and during "quiet" time then ever before. When I was living in Canada before, I've never heard neighbours doing anything. It seems like people in my building don't respect their neighbours and don't realize how loud they are.
17:44 February 16, 2011 by Landmine
It is amazing to me that the Germans have these strict rules for noise pollution but when they give anyone a protest march permit, they can make all the noise they want and no one does anything about it... Seems pretty two faced in my opinion....

Stuttgart 21 protesters are a prime example with their Vuvuzelas, whistles horns and chanting
20:47 February 16, 2011 by fryintl
I am glad to see a body of legislation standing up for kids. People need to be more realistic, less critical and sensative to normal human interatcion.

But at least Germany, of late, seems to be stepping forward and taking the lead on doing what is right
22:40 February 16, 2011 by BrainWave19
Germany has very good technology to produce sound proof windows and doors and houses apart from energy efficient houses. I guess new research needs to be done to produce even more efficient sound proof houses for those people who need complete silence from the neighbouring loud kids. Well they forgot their own childhood and cannot tolerate any kids' noise. This is the price of a developed nation.
23:01 February 16, 2011 by Cuchullain
Hey Abe Simpson, calm down. I thought old people couldn't hear anyway. Let's make a deal, our kids will be quiet if you stop smelling like Vicks Vap-o-Rub.
23:23 February 16, 2011 by JewsforJesus
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
23:45 February 16, 2011 by vaninberlin
This has been in the news for over a year, but it good to see that the government has put an end to the NIMBYs who complain about kids, they were once kids themselves!

Oh, and "JewsforJesus" Stupid thing to say there, actually quite offensive... time people like you get off this WW2 crap when they see anything about Germany, no other country has worked harder at making amends.
23:47 February 16, 2011 by roboni
There is nothing I love more than the sound of children playing in a school yard, outside on the sidewalks, hoffs, playground, etc. But when they play over your head in an apartment on end, everyday including Sunday mornings, jumping, running, playing with a basketball opps fussball, it becomes a problem that can really make one go a little crazy. And my neighbors tell me there is nothing I can do about it because "its the law." I explained that sometimes the law can be wrong. And it is a good idea to teach children a little about respecting your neighbors and that maybe they won't grow up to be thugs and go around hitting people on subways, for example.
01:30 February 17, 2011 by DOZ
You can be sure that the Kids and their Parents will take advantage of the situation and do everything in their power to abuse the priviledge. It's the Liberal way of things now. No rules and do as you please. That's okay, too much Liberalism brings about xtreme Right Wing Politics. Soon you will all be clicking your heals again.
08:33 February 17, 2011 by moistvelvet
I remember an old lady once saying that the sound of children playing is something to be enjoyed and I agree.

Germany does have some strange rules about noise though, as a private citizen you can't work and make noise between 1pm-3pm but if you are a tradesman working next door then you can, as a private citizen you can't play loud music at 6am but a Catholic church can ring their damn annoying bells any day at 6am for an indefinate period of time, woudln't be so bad if they at least put some effort into it and tried to make a tune, it's just clatter, but apparently legal clatter.
09:47 February 17, 2011 by freechoice
cars and public transportation like the S-bahn make the most noise in any neighbourhood, especially when you are staying in the main street. why isn't anybody complaining?

the sounds of screaming joyful children is music to my ears...
12:09 February 17, 2011 by loz_adele
I have to agree with roboni. I love the sound of a bunch of children playing in the school yard but when you have a young child living next door it can be a nightmare. My neighbours (who were actually horrible people anyway and moved out last week, thank goodness) had a little girl whose bedroom was right next to our living room/bedroom (one-roomed flat) and we heard absolutely everything. First the crying at all hours and for hours on end when she was a baby and then the thudding footsteps when she was older and got up at 6am and ran around the flat, not to mention the bouncing balls and audio books and music (which was often just one song put on repeat for an hour). It honestly felt like we'd had a kid of our own and I felt like I was going mad sometimes, especially with the crying. Still, I never would have complained or expected a law against it, I mean it's a child. I think the problem is more the buildings themselves, maybe they should make a law that walls should be adequately soundproofed.
15:59 February 17, 2011 by OkieinBerlin
DOZ, I agree, These darn little Liberals, just 2, 3, and 4 years old and already abusing their hard-earned freedoms! Maybe what they need is a good, old-fashioned Conservative-style beating every time they're having fun!
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