Court action halt bid fails

AN eleventh hour bid to halt council court proceedings against the occupiers of J and A Battaglia’s Food and Liquor store has been stalled.

Councillor Laurance Goodman moved council rescind its 25 January decision that court action be taken unless noise from refrigeration motors at the store be reduced to an acceptable level within twenty-one days.

The first hearing was on 31 May.

Noise from the motors was causing considerable distress to neighbour Eric Archer.

Mr Goodman said the noise reduction required the moving of the motors to the front of the store which was a big and expensive job.

The motors were not moved until 14 April.

Mr Goodman argued it would appear malicious for council to proceed with legal action after the problem had been solved.

“I see no requirement for us to take punitive action against the Battaglias,” Mr Goodman said.

“The Battaglias redeveloped their property and found a mistake had been made with the motors.

“They had taken advice from engineering experts on the siting of the motors. This was a new problem that started with a new building that wasn’t their fault,” he said.

Councillor Jennifer MacGill said Mr Archer had suffered horribly with the noise.

“However, in this case I feel the noise has been stopped and there is no need to proceed further,” Mrs MacGill said.

“I’m not one for pursuing litigation because that just gives money to the lawyers.”

However, many of Mr Goodman’s colleagues felt backing down from the legal action would make council appear “spineless”.

Councillor Bert Tudori said failing to go ahead with the legal action could open a “Pandora’s box” for council.

Lord Mayor Peter Nattrass said he was not in favour of litigation but had to support the action going ahead.

“If the Battaglias had respect for the law and the neighbours we wouldn’t be discussing this,” Dr Nattrass said.

“In 1993, their next door neighbour first had problems with the noise. Now this matter has gone on for about a year.

“We’d be a laughing stock if we backed out of an issue such as this.”

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