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Hong Kong court rules against playground noise

02 november 2011, 12:26
©RIA Novosti
©RIA Novosti
A Hong Kong school has lost an appeal against a noise abatement order issued after a neighbour complained about the daily ruckus emanating from its playground, AFP reports Tuesday.

High Court Judge Thomas Au dismissed an appeal by Lantau International School, which was required in 2009 to keep noise levels below 60 decibels or face fines, the South China Morning Post reported.

The school said it respected the court's decision but asked how the hush order could be enforced on a playground full of young children.

"Asking a child not to make noise in a playground is like asking them not to blink or a rabbit not to eat lettuce," the school's lawyer was quoted as saying.

The initial noise abatement order was made after a neighbour complained in September 2008, the Standard daily reported. An inspection found the noise level in the resident's bedroom to be 62 decibels, above acceptable limits.

The school was subsequently ordered to keep the noise level below 60 decibels between 7am and 11pm or be fined up to HK$100,000 ($12,900) for a first offence, and HK$200,000 for subsequent convictions, with an additional HK$20,000 for each day the order is disregarded.

The school declined to comment on Tuesday.

Children's right to engage in play and recreational activities, enshrined in international conventions, was among arguments raised by the school in its appeal last year.

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