When thinking of purchasing property, it is important to do your homework before entering into a contract.
This will usually include detailed reports from pest and building inspectors, and reviewing information about the zoning of the property. These planning certificates issued by local councils are required by law to be included a contract for the purchase of land, and include information ranging from whether a property is zoned as bushfire prone or in a heritage area, in order to help purchasers in finding the right property for them.
One issue that has always appeared to surprise successful purchasers is noise.
Making a Racquet about Noise
Maybe the most infamous case regarding the nuisance of noise saw Harry Seidler make the startling realisation that moving in next door to the pre-existing Big Dipper rollercoaster at Sydney’s Luna Park was quite noisy. Seidler successfully argued that the noisy rollercoaster was a nuisance and forced the restriction of the operation of the rollercoaster in 1996.
What has followed has been a tug of war between the rights of residents seeking peace and quiet, and the rights of those entertainment businesses already in operation.
For Luna Park alone this balance has remained a difficult issue to solve, and the residents have not backed down. Laws were put in place in 2005 to prevent the local council from taking legal action, which resulted in residents taking action themselves. In 2007 the State Government put in place laws preventing complaints if the park acted within consent guidelines. This resulted in residents instead bringing claims against the Trade Practices Act of the time, and residents have continued to object to consent sought for future rides since the park’s reopening.
Newcastle’s Proud Traditions of Live Music and Noise Complaints
Closer to home, aside from the arrival of the supercars, this issue has been mostly debated as the city of Newcastle battles to balance increasing residential development and a continuing history of live music.
Almost 100 live music venues such as the Cambridge Hotel, Hamilton Station Hotel and Lass O’Gowrie exist in Newcastle sharing a long and proud tradition of live music in our city. However the venues also have a shared history of noise complaints, increasing acoustic soundproofing requirements and battling restrictions on their continued operations where many exist in mixed use areas in close proximity to more and more residents wanting to live close to it all, but maybe not too close.
New Planning Information for Newcastle
The City of Newcastle council has revised the information to be provided on council planning certificates to include information regarding live music and night-time activities.
It is hoped that this will show support for the venues, being a major contributor to the local economy, while offering more transparency to potential purchasers in the area regarding the priorities of the local council.
Council appears to be making its stance known further to its Live Music and After Dark Strategy, while the rights of residents against unreasonable late night noise shall remain. Time will tell how the balance will land in the future.
For assistance from purchasing a house to dealing with the noisy amusement park next door, contact Baker Love Lawyers on (02) 4944 3322.