Wall built near refugee centre, to cut ‘noise pollution’, causes anger

A four-metre-high wall built next to a refugee centre in Munich to protect local residents from “noise pollution” creates a row.

MUNICH-NEUPERLACH, GERMANY (NOVEMBER 8, 2016) (REUTERS) – The erection of a four-metre-high (12 feet) wall to separate a refugee centre from residential homes in a Munich suburb has divided politicians and local people.

The barrier is being completed in advance of the opening of the centre in Neuperlach, in March or April 2017.

A row blew up when local independent politician Guido Bucholtz posted a video of the construction juxtaposed with images of the Berlin Wall in 1989, German media said.

Local official Thomas Kauer said the authorities had authorised the construction of the barrier to protect local residents from “noise pollution”.

He expressed surprise at the reaction of Bucholtz’ video.

Local people, who talked to Reuters, seemed taken aback by the size of wall.

“I don’t think it’s right that people are being caged in. Sure, there needs to be a fence around it – that is the case at every nursery. But not this kind of fortification,” Edmund Balzer said.

“You can think about the migration issue what you like, but someone did not use their capacities here. That is a foolish act. Four metres and it looks awful from the inside,” Manfred Stockert said.

In order to comply with sound proof guidelines, the wall was erected on a soil ridge which makes it even higher on the shelter side because the site of the shelter is lower than the surrounding houses.

The wall is being seen as particularly significant because it will be higher than the Berlin Wall, which stood at a height of 3.6 metres (11.8 ft).

More than 1 million asylum seekers reached Germany in 2015, as part of the biggest refugee crisis since World War II.