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Street noise to educate would-be city dwellers

Street noise to educate would-be city dwellers

by Reporter 1 comments

Brendan Wong

People intending to live near Sydney’s late-night venues will be given sound files of street noise under a new proposal by the City of Sydney Council.

And real estate agents may be asked to help promote the new initiative, according to a Sydney Morning Herald report. Yet how this would be handled wasn’t outlined.

The move is part of the Open Sydney Future Directions for Sydney at Night report outlining various strategies for revitalising Sydney’s night economy.

The SMH reported that the plan involved an education pack containing audio of street noise at various times of the day and night. 

Ray White Residential Sydney CBD selling principal Michael Lowdon said the proposal was not a bad idea but it would not offer the council much value for money. 

“Most people who come into the city know exactly what to expect. Obviously, if you live in the city you expect noise, so most people are fairly knowledge about that stuff.

“It’s kind of a trade off for the convenience of living in the city and knowing it’s a city. The pay-off is you are close to amenities, close to shops, you’re close to cultural attractions and you’re close to transport, and it’s something you can lock up and go.” 

Real Estate Institute of NSW (REINSW) CEO Tim McKibbin said the initiative could be a valuable tool that real estate agents used to provide customers with additional information about the area.

“Making a decision about where you are going to live, be it as a purchaser of a property or a tenant, the amenities in the area will always influence your decision,” he told Real Estate Business. “People will see some things in the area as a benefit or as a detriment, depending on a personal viewpoint. An exciting nightlife may appeal to some people but others may see it as a neighbourhood disturbance.”

A spokesperson for the City of Sydney Council said the plan was still in a proposal stage and would require more work before it was taken further.

Brisbane City Council implemented a similar action when it launched Valley Sound Machine as part of its Valley Music Harmony Plan in July 2006.

The online tool was aimed at informing potential residents about the Valley’s entertainment values in order to reduce the risk of future complaints.

A council spokesperson told Real Estate Business the strategy had been successful.

“Residents continue to live in the Valley, existing venues continue to operate and new venues continue to open up, without significant conflict,” she said.

“The strategy has not reduced the number of people moving into the Valley, but has contributed to people moving into the Valley being more informed and aware of the Valley’s vibrancy and amenity prior to moving in.”

In Victoria, the government introduced new laws this week that would allow authorities to enforce ‘noise bands’ of up to 72 hours.

A government spokesperson said the ban came at the request of Victoria Police who were often called out to the same premises on multiple occasions after having issued an abatement notice.

He added that noise was a significant issue for many people in residential parts of the state and that they formed a bulk of the complaints to local council by-laws officers.

“Excessively loud parties that go on over a prolonged time or very late at night and the use of noisy equipment such as power tools either very early in the morning or late at night can impact on people's quality of life, health and wellbeing,” he said.

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