Posted by: Nita van Wyk | 2018/01/19

Nursery school next to my house

For 24 years we have been living next to a nursery school. Last two years I am at home permanently. The noise starts before 7 in the morning with crying of children, staff speaking on the top of their voices, sceaming children throughout the day, noisy swings and playground equipment Between 1 - 3 is resting time. Only because we complained previously. We never agreed on the school when it started , but had no support from the the city council. Because we worked, we tolerated the situation to our detrement now as pensioners. Not even closed doors and windows keep out the noise. The school is open 5 days a week, except for public holidays and mid Dec to first week in Jan. This situation has an extremely negative impact on my life as I am an outdoor person. Not to mention the impact on our property value. Needless to say that we do not invite people to our house during the day due to the disturbing noise levels.The owner of the school has been approached by my husband previously, but no change. I would like advice on how to approach this matter to solve this problem in a professional and constructive manner. The lack of knowledge re. Noise pollution is very obvious.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageEnviroHealth expert
- 2018/01/22

You have my sympathies for having to endure this, especially when you should be enjoying your retirement in peace. Unfortunately, if they are legally registered as a daycare/school and licensed to run a business, it is unlikely you will be able to prevent them from operating, or even get them to reduce their noise levels given the nature of nursery school activities. My suggestions are as follows:

- Organise your daily life around the noise level, as far as is practically possible. I know you shouldn't have to do this in your own home, but it is one way to help reduce the stress and gain more control. e.g. schedule errands, outings and chores like vacuuming during 'noisy time'. 
- Speak to your neighbours and try to get others also affected involved. Together you may have more influence in, for example, persuading the school to start an hour later in the mornings. As a group you would also carry more weight if you appeal to the municipality.
- Consider improving soundproofing of your home with measures such as double-glazed windows and roof insulation. While such steps can be expensive, they usually work out as a good investment, especially as they often double-up as a way to improve temperature control of your home. Cheaper options involve heavy curtains on windows, thicker windowpane glass, and making sure windows (and doors) seal properly when closed. 

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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