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Noise, pollution and maintenance

Neighbourhood noise

What is neighbourhood noise?

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Neighbourhood noise is a common occurrence of living in a residential and urban area.

Talk to your neighbours

If noise is causing an ongoing issue, it is recommended that you discuss your concerns with your neighbour directly.

In most cases, a positive outcome can be negotiated and neighbourly relations can be maintained whilst using a direct communication forum.

Community Justice Centres

For further assistance resolving disagreements, a Community Justice Centres (CJC) can aid in this process by providing free, independent mediation between you and your neighbour.

Subsequent to direct neighbourly negotiation, involving a CJC can often produce high success rate outcomes.

Building Site - Hours of Operation

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Most building sites in our LGA will either have a Development Consent that has been approved by Council, or issued by NSW Planning or in circumstances of an appeal a Consent issued by the Land and Environment Court (LEC), or a Complying Development Certificate (CDC) issued by a Private Certifier. Most Consents have defined hours of operation, the standard hours are 7am to 5pm Monday to Friday, Saturday 8am to 5pm and no work on Sunday or public holidays.  Any construction noise that occurs within those hours is acceptable.  

Further to this, some night works may be approved by Council or RMS for large stage works that take longer than the approved hours permitted, such as pouring and finishing large concrete floor slabs.  Generally most developers will apply for an extended hours permit, which the council accesses and notifies the surrounding properties usually at least 72 hours before the work.  

Other out-of-hours work that may occur is essential work (electricity and gas connections) that cannot be conducted during the day. There may also be works on the road associated with the site or it may be working on the site that has to be conducted out of normal hours, generally, a notification would be issued by Council, RMS, Energy Provider, etc.

Lodge a complaint with Council

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If you are unable to come to an agreement with your neighbour, you may lodge a complaint with the City of Parramatta.

To assist in our investigation of the matter, you will be required to complete and submit a noise observation log that records the details of the noise nuisance you are experiencing, the times you experience the noise, the frequency of the noise, level of noise and the noise effects.

Specific-time restrictions

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Review the Protection of the Environment Operations (Noise Control) Regulation 2008 for specific time restrictions on the use of certain potentially high noise nuisance causing articles.

The following provides a guide to when noise is not permitted to be heard inside a habitable room of a neighbouring residential premises:

Power tool, swimming pool pump, air compressor

  • before 8am or after 8pm on any Saturday, Sunday or public holidays
  • before 7am or after 8pm on any other day

Musical instrument, amplified sound equipment

  • before 8am and after midnight on any Friday, Saturday or day immediately before a public holiday
  • before 8am and after 10pm on any other day

Air conditioner, heat pump water heater

  • before 8am or after 10pm on any Saturday, Sunday or public holiday
  • before 7am or after 10pm on any other day

In addition to the above time restrictions, the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (POEO Act) prohibits the emission of offensive noise at any time.

Noise is considered offensive by reason of its level, nature, character or quality or the time at which it is made, or if it:

  • is harmful to (or is likely to be harmful to) a person who is outside the premises from which it is emitted
  • interferes unreasonably with (or is likely to interfere unreasonably with) the comfort or repose of a person who is outside the premises from which it is emitted.

Complaints outside of Council's jurisdiction and investigation

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  • noise from late night parties should be directed to the NSW Police (call the Police Assistance Line on 131 444)
  • noise from a vehicle on a public road should be directed to the NSW EPA or Police
  • complaints regarding a licensed premises (such as pubs and clubs) should be directed to the NSW Liquor and Gaming NSW

If the noise continues

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If your neighbour continues to make noise and you wish to take action further to City of Parramatta actions, you can seek a Noise Abatement Order under section 268 of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997.

To apply for an order, contact your local court. There are fees for applying for a noise abatement order.

If the court is satisfied that the neighbour is causing an offensive noise, or that the noise is likely to recur. The court may issue a cease order to the noise or prevent a recurrence. If the person fails to comply with the order, they could be prosecuted.

The person responsible for causing the noise can appeal against the order.

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