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How a nightclub can ruin a street, and cause trouble further a field

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On holiday this summer in the Catalan Pyrenees I had a chance to observe first-hand how a nightclub can be a real pain in the neck for some locals, and it’s not always obvious where the pain will be felt.

Staying in the mountains with family in the lovely town of Camprodón, where we go every August to get away from the heat and crowds of the coast, I noticed this year for the first time signs on balconies on streets near the centre of town begging people to make less noise at night.

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This is where you will find P3, a local nightclub, and it seems the problem is revelers pouring out of the club at 4am making a racket that wakes up the neighbours. A familiar story wherever in the world nightclubs exist, but Camprodón is a place you go for peace and quiet in beautiful surroundings, which I guess makes it even more annoying.

P3 has been around for decades, so why is it a problem now? Because of the changing habits of young revelers in Spain. It seems that the ‘Botellón’ has come to Camprodón (drinking off-licence alcohol in public spaces), so the kids all congregate in some public space to get tanked up together before clubbing, and as a result get to the club later and drunker, leave later and drunker, and make a lot more noise than before. The people who live on the streets next to the P3 club now get disturbed by drunken shouting several nights a week.

Our bedroom overlooked the street where many of the revelers stagger along after the club, so I had the pleasure of listening to the dreadful racket they make between 4am and 6am, drowning out the pleasant sound of the river Ter flowing nearby. It was a real problem for my wife, who ended up having to resort to earplugs.

It bothered us for a few nights, but we don’t spend enough time there for it to really get under our skin, as it has with local residents judging by the number of signs on balconies protesting about the noise.

And as you can see from the picture below, someone is trying to find a buyer with an ‘En Venda’ (for sale) sign surrounded by other signs broadcasting the noise problem. Good luck with that. A deaf person would make a perfect buyer, but no doubt would ask for a steep discount on account of the noise pollution. A nightclub can discount local property values.

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I also noticed that the nightclub condemns the building where it is located to long term decline. I guess the owners aren’t going to invest in maintaining a building where nobody wants to live. I never walk on the pavement on this side of the street, as who knows what might fall on your head?

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But I never would have guessed the noise problems also affect neighbours of the bakery in the picturesque village of Llanars, two kilometers up the road from Camprodón. It seems the kids hangout there after clubbing, and make an awful racket whilst waiting for the bakery to open and breakfast. The things you would do well to know before buying or renting a property anywhere.

It’s a shame about the noise, but Camprodón is still one of my favourite places in Spain. As I’m lucky enough to live in Spain I can enjoy the coast and beach all year round, so I’m quite happy to leave the crowded, sweaty beaches and parking problems on the coast to others in August, and swim instead in refreshing and crystal-clear mountain rock pools like the one pictured below.

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