The city of Neuenrade in a noise conflict with the residents: the young are the ones who suffer

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Of: Peter von der Beck

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The basketball hoop between the youth center and the Hönnequell school can in future only be used during the week. © von der Beck, Peter

No doubt. Basketball has become a popular sport among young people in Neuenrad. Even during the break at Hönnequell School (HQS), the basketball hoop is played. But the fun is limited now.

Of Basketball net at Niederheide between the youth center and HQS “completed” this weekend.

It’s the latest development in a dispute that has apparently simmered for two years and now even involves lawyers. It’s about noise and the subjective need for silence. A neighbor who lives near the basketball hoop complains about the noise from the game, which he almost always has to endure until well into the evening. He even hired a lawyer. His goal: Let the city take care of it. The process ended on the table with Ira Valsamidou. The lawyer is head of department – the youth and sports department is part of her education. She recently published the process in the school committee and reported on the neighbor’s post.

Just allegations without evidence?

For them, these are allegations without evidence. Personally, she looked around there at different times. She did not notice any noise pollution. “Everything was quiet.” The lawyer in question and his neighbor also sat in the school committee’s auditorium: They pointed out that when the system was installed, it was ensured that it would not be used outside the school. The basket was secured with an iron bar. “For two years” there is no longer the rod. That is why we also play there in the evenings, on Sundays and public holidays. The lawyer said: “It exceeds what is reasonable.” The neighbor even held up a cell phone and offered to play a noise recording. He also made it clear that for almost two years he had asked Mayor Antonius Wiesemann (CDU) to do something about it – without success. Eventually, he decided to sue.

For her part, Valsamidou referred to the various legal opinions and stressed that she would like to “ask for a noise report in this case”. Especially since she, as she stressed several times, did not find anything at random visits. The mayor also looked around there and could not find anything noise relevant either. Any noise sources have been eliminated and, for example, replaced the grille on the basketball hoop. Valsamidou also referred to the school complex with its public sports facilities, which together form a unit she does not want to tear apart. The basketball hoop is just being used legally.

Committee members can contribute ideas

She stressed that she is obviously about a unity and the administration tries to decide it all without dispute. We are open to a solution. Anyone on the committee with an idea should get in touch.

The mayor also made a brief statement: “We must also offer young people a perspective.” In the direction of the residents, he said: “Dear W., we are looking for a solution.” W. replied, “Two years, two years.” Wiesemann said the basketball issue could still be part of further planning in Niederheide and find another compromise that the kids can play somewhere. There were no other statements from the audience. That put an end to committee chairman Malik Neuhaus.

Typical compromise decision

And the position of children and young people? At least one youngster said the basketball hoop was used well. “Depends on the weather. When the weather is good, we play a lot here.” He knows nothing about trouble. He knows a family next door. “These are sweet people.”

Eventually, the mayor made a typical compromise decision and wrote to the neighbor’s attorney, saying the basket would be locked over the weekend and unlocked again when school started. Ira Valsamidou stated that she was not happy with this compromise. Then: This weekend, young people will now have to look elsewhere. It remains to be seen what the plans for the Niederheide area will be.

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