In parts of Palma there have been residents' complaints about terrace noise. | Archive


Bars and restaurants in Palma which fail to comply with the noise bylaw could be closed for up to five months. The town hall says that if the ordinance is disobeyed and residents are disturbed as a consequence, then it will order temporary closure. The shortest period would be for three days.

Palma's councillor for health, Antonia Martín, points out that this provision exists in the bylaw but that it hasn't been applied. Her department will now be responsible for decreeing closures. These, she stresses, will be undertaken with all "legal guarantees" so that the town hall doesn't end up being taken to court.

Martín adds that fines for noise, which range from 300 to 1200 euros, are insignificant. Bar and restaurant owners ignore the bylaw, pay the fines and still make healthy profits.

Because of an ongoing problem with noise and disturbance of residents, the town hall set up a committee to address it. One of the results of this committee's periodic meetings has been the decision to apply the closure provision in the bylaw.

Palma's ombudsman, Anna Moilanen, has asked for this committee to meet more frequently and has also insisted that the town hall takes stronger measures against establishments which don't comply with the bylaw. Residents often have the impression that they just get away with the noise and nothing is done.

Moilanen's office and he town hall's department for quality have both found that noise is one of the most frequent complaints made by the city's residents.