Tai Po retailers fined for repeated noise offences
Four chain vegetable and fresh meat shops at Lane-Square in Tai Po have been fined after a government clampdown on excessive noise.
The retailers were collectively fined $29,100 at the Fanling Magistrates’ Courts this week for contravening the Noise Control Ordinance (NCO). The court appearances followed stepped-up enforcement action last July by the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) against retailers making an excessive amount of noise.
The retailers fined were two vegetable shops operated by Bonnie Vegetables and Fruit Wholesale Limited on Kwong Fuk Road and Heung Sze Wui Street, a vegetable shop operated by Ka Wo Farming Limited, and a fresh meat shop (日日鮮五豐鮮肉) on Tai Kwong Lane. All were convicted of causing noise nuisance to nearby residents by persistently playing promotional recordings loudly.
An EPD spokesperson said the authority had received a number of complaints about noise generated by chain stores to peddle goods in the vicinity of Lane-Square in Tai Po.
“During a series of inspections, it was found that the above vegetable and fresh meat shops played promotional recordings loudly and continuously using loudspeakers, thus causing noise annoyance. The department subsequently prosecuted the operating companies concerned in accordance with the NCO. Among these shops, a fresh meat shop (日日鮮五豐鮮肉) on Tai Kwong Lane was prosecuted twice on the same day as it refused to turn down the volume of its loudspeakers, disregarding the warning given by the department.”
The spokesperson said that after a series of enforcement action taken by the EPD, the number of noise complaints against the shops in the vicinity of Lane-Square in Tai Po has reduced.
“The EPD will closely monitor the situation and conduct stringent enforcement against such irregularities.”
The spokesman reminded operators of retail shops and market stalls that when they play promotional recordings to sell goods, they should contain the noise level within their shop area and should not cause annoyance to people outside their shops or nearby residents. Failing to do so constitutes an offence, with offenders liable to a maximum fine of $10,000 for each offence. For repeat offenders, the operator himself will also be criminally liable for the offence once convicted.