Inma’s office have just emailed me.
They have spoken again to the oficina técnica this morning to ascertain the nature of the tests to be carried out. They have been told that the tests are indeed in accordance with the Real Decreto 1367/2007 which demands that the noise levels are recorded with animals in situ.
Further, that I have permission to put my dogs in there for this to take place.
Finally, that I must provide contact details for my esteemed neighbour, whose land abuts mine right behind the barn (although his house is some 300m away) and who has caused me all the problems so far. This is because they need to put measuring equipment at his house.
OK. I have a couple of issues with this.
This is the guy who, when we first bought the land some seven years ago, informed us on first meeting that he owned our barn because it was built on his land. We had to pay a topógrafo to ascertain that this was not so. Following that, he said that, because the barn was situated on the party boundary (which would be illegal today but it is too old for this law to be applicable) he would make sure that we could never do anything with it … unless we paid him 9,000€ hush money.
Of course, we declined his generous offer. However, we were still fairly new to Spain, and also intensely aware that we were coming to a very rural area, where everyone is related to everyone else in the village, as witnessed by the sheer number of extra eyes / oddly-placed ears / hunched backs etc. So we diverted our attention away from the barn (in which we had originally intended to create our home, just as all the locals had done) and concentrated instead on renovating the old casita further down on the land, even though it was a great deal smaller.
That, of course, turned out to be a different story – we paid a builder and his architect to validate the antiquity of both buildings, and to submit plans to renovate the casita. Unbeknownst to us, this didn’t happen – the work went ahead without licences, although we were told that all was in order.
The house was denounced – I’ll give you just one guess by whom, because that’s all you’ll need. He couldn’t possibly see the casita from his land – he must have driven into town and back out along our camino to take a look – and he then asked to see the licences, which weren’t there. So he denounced us. He was, please note, at the same time building a second illegal house of his own just behind his first. But obviously in his feeble brain, natives are allowed to do what foreigners must not. Or something.
Not only was it denounced, but it was also sealed off by the police, since Mr Personality has relatives in the town hall.
Anyway, back to the kennels. We have therefore been über cautious, with the development and opening of a business in the barn, that we comply to the letter.
He has tried his damnedest to prevent it. When the notice of intent was posted, he wrote a three page letter of objection stating that we would create too much noise, too much smell, too much damage to the beautiful environment in which we live (‘the lungs of Bullas’, as he put it). Besides which, we were sancionados (previously fined for wrong-doing) and therefore shouldn’t be allowed to touch the barn/create a business/breathe.
It is apparently for this reason that the ayuntamiento have demanded so many different papers of compliance.
So, my worries are as follow. How much do you think he can impede the sound tests by refusing or at least considerably delaying access to his land? And, further, would you think him capable of placing a dog near the testing equipment and making it bark long and loud? Am I just being paranoid?
Or am I learning from a master about thinking like an utter bastard?