The Ministry for Environmental Protection has ordered the Tel Aviv Municipality to stop exceeding the legal noise limits in building work currently being done in the Habima Theater area, reports Yediot Tel Aviv. The ministry's intervention follows long-running complaints by residents living near the theater that the noise there has been incessant and unbearable. According to the report, the work has been making residents' lives miserable for months, with constant noise during the days and tractors regularly working into the nights. Noisy building work is prohibited in the city after 7 p.m. except for vital emergency repairs, but the theater work does not fall into this category. Last month, residents turned to the ministry to request that it enforce the laws on noise levels and permitted work hours. The ministry sent out its inspectors, who found that the noise levels were excessive and that work regularly continued to 11 p.m. It sent a letter to the municipality demanding that the breaches cease, and asking who authorized them in the first place. A municipal spokesman said a permit to allow the builders to work until 11 p.m. had been authorized "because of the importance of completing the work at the site."