Blue Mountains City Council




 

NOISE CONTROL

Noise impacts on us all everyday and we each react differently.

A significant number of noise complaints are received and investigated by Council each year. The complaints reflect the various situations, whether they are mechanically generated or human activities, in which a person's awareness of and tolerance towards a noise source are subjected.

These situations include neighbourhood noise such as loud music, drums, bands, machinery, cars etc or equipment such as air conditioners, refrigeration units, pool/spa pumps etc or factories, car / building alarms or animals such as barking dogs.

Council is anxious to maintain the environmental sensitivity of the local area by minimizing the impact of intrusive noise on each of us and thereby ensuring a continuation of the qualities of life, which have drawn residents and thousands of visitors to the Blue Mountains.

Council is responsible under environmental planning legislation for dealing with the potential impacts of noise from a planning perspective in assessing a development application for a new building or additions as well as the granting of an approval for some activities.

Council is also responsible in some circumstances for responding to and investigating noise complaints from the community.

It should be noted that noise-generating activities undertaken by public authorities such as Council, the Roads and Traffic Authority, State Rail Authority, and Sydney Water etc are not the responsibility of Council, but are the responsibility of the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). (Pollution Line 131555)

Regulatory powers are however available to Council and its officers under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997, to resolve noise activities, which adversely impact on you.

Council is provided with a range of enforcement options including the service of a Noise Control Notice, Noise Abatement Direction, Prevention Notice, and / or Compliance Cost Notice. Non-compliance with these notice/s may lead to legal action being instituted or a penalty infringement notice being issued.

Noise Abatement Order

The Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 in addition to providing enforcement tools to Council and the EPA also enables an individual to seek a Noise Abatement Order from the local court.

The process begins by making a complaint to a magistrate at the Local Court that an offensive noise activity is impacting on the amenity of your particular environment.

A person wanting to obtain a noise abatement order should, in the first instance, make an appointment with the Chamber Magistrate at the Local Court. Legal representation is not necessarily required to obtain a Noise Abatement Order, which can be appealed by the alleged offender within 21 days.

Restricted Times of use

In each of the situations outlined below, the actual use of equipment or vehicle outside the hours indicated in the Protection of the Environment Operations (Noise Control) Regulation 2008 does not in itself constitute an offence. If the noise is audible in a habitable room of a dwelling however, an offence has occurred.

 

Noise source - from residential premises

 

 

Time restrictions when noise should not be heard in a habitable* room in a neighbour's residence

 

 

Power tools and equipment (powered garden tools; e.g. lawn mowers and leaf blowers; electric or pneumatic tools, chainsaws, circular saws, gas or air compressors and swimming pool or spa pumps)

 

 

Before 8 am and after 8 pm on Sundays and public holidays

Before 7 am and after 8 pm on any other day

 

 

Musical instruments and electrically amplified sound equipment (e.g. radios, TVs, tape recorders, CD and DVD players, and home theatre systems)

 

 

Before 8 am and after midnight on any Friday, Saturday or the day immediately before a public holiday

 

 

Before 8 am and after 10 pm on any other day

 

 

Air conditioners and heat pump water heaters

 

 

Before 8 am and after 10 pm on weekends and public holidays

 

 

Before 7 am and after 10 pm on any other day

 

 

Motor vehicles (except when entering or leaving residential premises)

 

 

Before 8 am and after 8 pm on weekends and public holidays

 

 

Before 7 am and after 8 pm on any other day

 

 

Refrigeration units fitted to motor vehicles**

 

 

Before 8 am and after 8 pm on weekends and public holidays

 

 

Before 7 am and after 8 pm on any other day

 

 

 

Residents wishing to have a noise matter investigated can contact Council's Environmental and Customers Services Group on (02) 4780 5000. All complaints are dealt with confidentially, however complainants should be aware that, in some circumstances, should a matter subsequently involve legal action, a written statement and / or court appearance by the complainant may be required.

In all cases, the Council officer will endeavor to negotiate a solution to the situation without recourse to enforcement actions, however in some circumstances, the regulatory tools under the Protection of the Environment Act 1997 may be utilised.

Additional information in regard to noise issues is available from the Environment Protection Authority on (02) 9995 5000 or their web site www.environment.nsw.gov.au.