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Condominium disturbed by noise

Dear Editor,

We run a condominium of holiday homes in the Gale area of Albufeira. All with the full touristic licences for holiday rentals.

Early last month building work for a villa started on a small plot right next to the grounds of the condominium.

We immediately contacted our lawyer to see if anything could be done to halt the building for the summer period as we have taken bookings and are at capacity.

We were advised that there is a law in the Albufeira council area preventing building work in touristic areas from June 30 until September 30.

We sent a letter to the council through our lawyer in June to advise that we were unhappy with the building work and we would like it to be suspended through the summer period as we have guests of all nationalities here to enjoy a relaxing holiday and do not want building noise less than 10 metres from the villas.

We then heard that despite our complaint and after meetings with the vice president assuring us that the law was on our side, the council then issued an aviso to build on this plot.

We sent letters from guests who were staying at the resort expressing their unhappiness at the fact the work had spoilt their holidays, and our lawyer had further meetings to discuss this matter with the council.

On June 30 we received a signed letter from the vice president of the council to say that the process would be halted from that day until the end of September. We rejoiced at this news only to find out the next day that the builders had continued to work and were banging away again at 8am.

We asked our lawyer to see what the situation was with the council and were then informed that the council had forgotten to send a letter to the builder advising him to stop. How can they just forget to send a letter to the builder?

I would like to know how the council can issue licences to build in the summer period in the first place. Surely that is against their own law.

However, we have now managed to get an agreement with the builder and the council, and the work stopped on July 15. This was voluntary from the builder.

Then on July 18 we were awoken with banging again. It was the council workers knocking down the wall to fit a water meter and pipes to the site!

This whole thing has cost us a great deal in lawyer’s fees and refunds/free return visits given to guests who had to endure the constant noise.

For a council area that relies so heavily on tourism, we feel the way we have been treated to be appalling.