Neighborhood dispute settled by municipality: church bells in Zaanstad will beat softer at night

After three quarters of a year, the municipality of Zaanstad has made a decision about ringing the church bells at night. That’s allowed from now on, as long as it doesn’t sound too loud. In ‘t Kalf a real neighborhood quarrel arose last summer. Hundreds of residents ranted on Facebook about the bells of Mary Magdalene Church shutting down at night. That had happened because a single resident had complained.

Milo Oehler lives next door to the church and found it strange that he suddenly stopped hearing the church bells at night. Upon inquiry, it turned out that there had been no research or consultation at all to make such a decision. A complaint was made by one person. He hadn’t lived in the neighborhood very long and couldn’t sleep.

Milo actually sleeps very well on it. For him and many others it turned out that the striking of the bells gives a familiar feeling. “Then you know that you are at home. Because it is in fact an old village here in ‘t Kalf,” says Milo. With the signatures of many proponents, he got the church bells working again in no time.


But the municipality was concerned about the issue, mainly because of the mounting tensions in the neighbourhood, and promised to talk to the local residents. According to Milo, that never happened. “I did see that at a certain point the sound was measured.” And now he has received an email stating that the municipality would like to do justice to the different opinions. And that is that the church bells will make less noise. The city council still has to approve this.

Milo can live with this compromise. “I was especially concerned because there was absolutely no idea behind when those church bells were silenced at night.” If the city council agrees to this proposal, from now on, all churches in Zaanstad will ring their bells a little softer between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Check out the report we made earlier about the neighborhood quarrel below