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Town bell-ringer faces complaint, fine

UPI News Service, 11/13/2005 

A British man signed a legally binding document to ring church bells when he bought and made a church into his home, but now the town is complaining.

Twenty years ago, David Aveyard signed a covenant to keep the village clock ticking and its bells chiming the hour as they had done since 1888.

However, local officials say they've had a complaint about the bells ringing at night, the Sunday Telegraph reported. Aveyard faces a noise abatement order and a possible fine of almost $9,000.

"It's flaming stupid," said the former chauffeur. "Twenty years ago, if someone complained about the noise of the bells, the council would have laughed."

Aveyard's lawyer said the homeowner could face proceedings from the Church of England if he breaches the contract to keep the clock in good working order.

Local government officials say they have a statutory duty under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to investigate noise complaints -- even if the noise has been going for many years.

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Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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