Monday, 4 July 2011

Noise pollution is a health hazard

Even the sound of music can be unpleasant when it irritates the ear. A disharmony of sounds surrounds us day and night, be they from vehicular or air traffic, noise nuisances emanating from entertainment venues, construction sites, fireworks, consumer product noise or that transmitted between dwellings. In a small place like Gibraltar, such noise pollution becomes a health hazard falling on deaf ears.

Noise pollution, particularly during unscheduled load-shedding and unrelenting power outages has been a nightmare for residents of the Harbour Views and Sir William Jackson Grove area. For the past few months in particular, they have had to put up with the deafening sounds from the Generating station at Waterport, not only that, the problem has been considerably exacerbated by the six very powerful 'temporary' generators installed by the Government to help with the demand in the electricity supply.


It is the residents of the area, myself included, who are now seriously suffering the consequences of what is considered to be a badly thought out plan, one that many feel was rushed by Government to fix a problem, that people say they created in allowing Gibraltar’s electricity supply to reach the state it is today.

Although discovering the source of the main problem has not been a rocket science project, the noise pollution has come by way of the six temporary generators; this is the real root of the problem! A problem which is also costing the tax payer well over £30,000 per week, this by having placed 6 massive generators out in the open with no sound or noise protection compounded by them operating incessantly on a 24-hour basis. Although not forgetting another environmental and health aspect, the dangerous toxic fumes that emanate from these machines which go directly into the immediate atmosphere and generally into our homes and lungs!

Many residents in the area have had to resort to having windows permanently closed for most part of the day but certainly battened down or secured during the night where the noise is amplified even more allowing for no peace and quiet day or night.

Residents have also pointed out that the Gibraltar Electricity Authority (GEA) clearly informed the public that the generators were only to be used 'as and when required', this has not been the case as the generators are in operation 24 hours a day. There has been total disregard and absolutely no consideration for the residents of the area and how this situation has affected quality of life in this area of Gibraltar.



  1. Hi
    I don't live in that area but whenever visiting GASA I have felt sorry for the residents of Waterport Terraces, as I can hear how dreadfully noisy the area is and even feel vibrations from the noise coming from the plant.
    Noise pollution in Gibraltar in general is overpowering,I live at the top of Prince Edwards Rd and the noise of the traffic especially motorbikes, coming up the hill is deafening.What with the scooters,the horn blowing when a car stops in the road, cars crashing into the building next door as the road is narrow,the seagulls screeching, my son's music, the television, pneumatic drills,sometimes my head is buzzing!

  2. what about the residents of Alameda Estate and the South District who also suffer the same problem from the two generating stations inside the dockyard ,this has been going on for years with no solution in sight.

  3. What about those 'cleaning machines' and their deafening noise all over Gibraltar. Does nobody care about the long suffering public and the level of noise that is affecting everyone, everywhere in Gibraltar.

  4. As well as all the above comments on source of noise, I have to say the top spot is noise from faulty or otherwise tampered motorbike exhauts pipes!!! This could be dealt with by MOT/Police enforcment???

    Yes Gib at times is one big noisy place particularly during the day. I would rather go to work when I'm "sick" rather than stay at home during the day.

  5. What about Ocean Willage area then. Full entertainment 5 nights a week, sometimes also during the days. In summer some additional from Casemates. May be I am supposed not to have any sleep at all... What's the fun for people shouting all night. Ever had a hen's party under your pillow? Why would people be allowed to blow the horn of their cars at night time. Fine to go out if that is what you like to do, but really.... is it necessary to be so loud when you leave and go home? Then...why would bars wheel the empty bottles and rubbish to the bins at night?
    At 5.20am comes the cleaning to empty the bins. They do not seem to be aware of the fact that it is still... night time for the residents, no way....again shouting and fun from them. This has been going on for 3 years. Do people in Gibraltar not have any awareness of other peoples needs and rights?
    Officially the music stops now at 11, at the weekends they just continue after that time and the noise hasn't continues all night.

  6. For 2 years I live next door to a dog that barked 18-20 per day, very loud and shrill. I suffered from sever sleep deprivation because of it. After awhile it became intolerable day and night, and was a nervous wreck. The owners of the dog didn't see anything wrong with it, but the dog was also a nervous wreck.

    Noise that is coninual, repetitive, and that you are helpless to stop is very unhealthy. It can lead to any number of stress related serious illnesses, as can sleep deprivation from noise or any cause. Humans need peace & quiet, and we need uninterrupted sleep to be healthy, and a noise doesn't have to be very loud to be detrimental to health and well being. Even a low decibel but repetitive/on going noise can be very disruptive/stressful.

  7. I agree with all the above... not long ago Police statement said that they were clamping down on noise pollution from vehicles and motor cycles.......come up to sandpits House and Knights Court early morning or after 11pm and listen to the ones that live up there!!! also the bin men shouting to each other at 5.30 in the mornings or noisy tenants walking past flats after midnight with no regard for others!!!! The only solution is double glazing windows for ALL!!!!

  8. Who needs an alarm clock when the bin men provide instant wake-up early in the morning.
    The noisy traffic. Are we becoming world leaders in noise?

  9. Absolutely correct.

    One of the biggest causes of regular continuous noise is from incosiderate neighbours blasting music out of their homes during the summer months when everyone needs to keep their windows open.

    Why do some people think that others want to hear it? It also causes problems between neighbours. If you phone the Police all they say is we can't do anything till after 11 PM, pity the children who need to get some sleep before school the next day.

    If someone is causing a nuisance it is a nuisance whatever the cause, if i had a hammer and was on the street hitting a piece of metal all day i am sure i would be reported and told to stop, what's the difference.

    It is time the authorities were allowed to tell noisy neighbours to be quiet. in parts of the UK noisy neighbours are having stereo and music equipment confiscated. If only that happened here.

    And as for casemates and Ocean Village I am just glad i don't live in that area the noise on a night is absolutely ridiculous in a residential area. Why should a minority be allowed to upset the majority? most people can have a good night out without the requirement for ridiculously loud music, and aren't those noisy areas where the weekend violence is on the increase?

    Please let's try and get Gibraltar back to the more peaceful levels we had 20 years ago. Even when we were full of sailors we were never this noisy.

    There was mention of ASBO's in the Police report, remember that means Anti Social Behaviour in any form, lets hope they are used and quickly become a deterent.

    Wishing you all a PEACEFUL future.

  10. My neighbour placed a spin dryer outside our common landing 10+ years ago. This is on every single day since, come rain or shine. Remainders that the night starts at 11pm are met with a gruff reply and the situation improves for a few weeks until she forgets again. This lady only has one voice volume setting, LOUD! she has her door aways open and when she talks, I get to hear every detail!
    When oh when, are the ASBO laws going to come?

  11. Why do the live "acts" at O' Reillys / Savannah have to be so loud? Now that summer is here, it would be nice to be able to sit outside and enjoy the view of the marina of an evening, without being treated to yet another poor version of Summer of 69, or mournful depressing love songs by a solo female "vocalist" singing to a backing track - Valerie and Jolene twice a week, I feel like throwing myself off. This can be heard, with all the windows and doors closed, over the TV.

    Surely the point is to provide some background entertainment, create an atmosphere. Not to be so loud as to be peaking out the speakers and result in shouting over each other to be heard. Also, noone is even clapping when they finish their songs!

    Whilst I appreciate people might like the live music, couldn't they play indoors / turn it down? I fail to see why the hundreds of residents of Ocean Village, Portland House, Watergardens etc should suffer this 5 nights a week all through summer, for the sake of 20-30 people sat outside, most of which don't seem to be enjoying it either.

    Also, Honda Civic drivers who screw their cars up and down the coach park all night, playing music and shouting to each other, some occasions even dancing round their cars? In a petrol station / coach park?

    Some of these are full grown men, don't they have anything better to do? And the state they leave the place in every night is disgraceful - the police do NOTHING about this night after night.