In news that could greatly affect San Antonio’s famous West End, the area will now be declared a ‘Zone of Special Acoustic Protection’ (ZPAE) after the local government decided to act after receiving the results of new acoustic studies carried out over summer.
The studies showed that over the summer the legal maximum noise levels were exceeded in 4 of the 5 measuring stations reaching up to 85.9 decibels, 20 decibels higher than allowed. The measurements carried out in 2017 support what was already detected in 2016, when a first study was carried out to develop a noise map which indicated the main sources of noise pollution in the town centre.
San Antonio town hall started the process in February 2017 and with measurements carried out this summer in two areas of the urban center (sa Punta des Molí and West End) have determined that there is sufficient reason to proceed with the declaration of a ‘Special Zone of Acoustic Protection’.
A ZPAE is an area where there are ‘high noise levels due to the existence of numerous recreational activities, public establishments, the activity of the people who use them, traffic noise as well as any other activity of a permanent nature that affects the saturation of the sound level of the zone even when each activity, individually considered, complies with the levels established by law’.
More importantly the ZPAE declaration allows the local lawmakers to increase the corrective measures aimed at alleviating the existing noise saturation. The municipal technicians will now study what measures are to be implemented in order for them to be approved in the coming months.
Once the ZPAE declaration has been carried out, annual measurements will then be made to determine the impact of the new measures taken and how the protection zone evolves. The corrective actions can then be lowered or intensified annually based on the data collected.
Once approved, the ZPAE can not be lifted until the acoustic quality objectives set by the regulations are reached: 65 dB during the day and 55 at night.
San An’s Mayor José Tur said “All the studies conducted over the last two years indicate that the limits have been exceeded. We cannot ignore this and therefore we have to establish the mechanisms to return the area to a normal situation”.
Environment councillor Pablo Valdés, believes that the declaration of ZPAE “can and should mark a turning point in the municipality.”
Sr Valdés continued “We will try to recover the coexistence and to deal with the noise that caused the depopulation of the urban center, linked to the alterations of the public order and generating a perception of the current tourist model as a hostile activity.”
Source: Periodico de Ibiza