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Should this article appear to be written in the moment of passion, it’s actually a moment of total exhaustion and possibly an unclear head, given that I was up until “fore day” morning listening to the concert at the now decommissioned Arnos Vale Airport. I am certain that like many Vincentians I was quite surprised when I saw Arnos Vale being set up to host a big show, but I didn’t think further of it until last night when the music pounded in my ears and deprived me of my usual peaceful night’s sleep.
Was it that the relevant authority, be it the Commissioner of Police, or some other, had a moment of excitement about the novelty of a concert in a former airport and granted permission to host a concert there and this was a momentary lapse of reason on his part — or is it that this is going to be a new nuisance that residents of the Arnos Vale, Villa and other surrounding areas now have to get used to as the new norm? Has the value of all of our properties just dropped in that we will no longer be able to peacefully enjoy them?
The music not only kept me awake until wee hours of the morning but it did so to visitors staying on Young Island as the sound waves moved across the water and blasted into their hotel rooms.
The Government has just built an international airport and we all hope that now that it is built “they will come”, but we must consider that if they do not come it may have more to do with the environment that we present to tourists than anything lacking in our new grand international airport. We as Vincentians have to make it work, and for this to happen we have to take noise pollution seriously. Noise pollution has been damaging tourism in the Grenadines for years, causing many guests to check out on many nights (from hotels on Admiralty Bay where the music from harbour bounces off the waters and into their rooms) and yachts to pull up anchor.
Should the Commissioner continue to give approval to persons to host shows at Arnos Vale, hotels in the area will see major drops in their numbers and residents of Villa like myself will have to consider moving. But moving to where? Perhaps Argyle?
I call on the new Commissioner of Police, Renold Hadaway to take noise pollution seriously, it is a matter not just of the economic success of our hotels and guest houses, but even more importantly the well-being and health of our nation. Every good doctor will tell you that without a good nights’ rest, the body cannot replenish itself and prepare for another day.
Surely the Government has better plans in mind for the former Arnos Vale airport that a party site. I implore the Government that whatever is done at the former airport should not be something that creates a nuisance to the residents of the surrounding areas. The music stopped minutes to 3 this morning. In the national zoning plan that is being developed, is noise pollution going to be a factor in considering what can happen where. While Arnos Vale may be shifting to being commercialised, there are thousands of people living there and in the surrounding area of Villa, where the music most certainly reached. When are we as Vincentians going to stop progressing in an ad hoc and unplanned way? There should be reason and thought behind our every step as a nation. The hosting of that concert last night was ill conceived and I hope it was the first and last time to simply bring down the curtain on E.T. Joshua Airport and not be the start of the destruction of the peace of that area.
Louise Mitchell, Villa resident
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