Entertainment noise reform to secure Northbridge vibrancy

  • Entertainment noise consultation paper released for comment
  • Proposed reform will help maintain unique character of Northbridge
  • Reforms follow election commitment to introduce better protection for live music venues
  • Includes amendments to noise regulations which protect entertainment venues and balance residential and business amenity

Reforms aimed at protecting Northbridge’s vibrant nightlife culture for the long term have been released for public comment.

Growing infill development in the central suburbs means premises such as pubs and live music venues are finding it increasingly difficult to comply with noise regulations. This has been the case even if they have been operating in that location far longer than the surrounding development.

Proposed amendments to the Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997 and establishment of a Special Control Area under the City of Perth’s City Planning Scheme No 2 will provide greater protection for venues, and clear and consistent development guidelines for new developments in the precinct.

Part of the proposal includes removing existing ‘outdoor amenity protections’ – which would allow higher levels of noise in residential outdoor areas such as balconies or patios.

Further, the paper includes ‘agent of change’ principles where the responsibility of noise mitigation will fall to a new development and not existing venues and residents.

New developments – both noise-emitting and noise-receiving – will also be required to undertake a noise assessment and demonstrate how construction and design will mitigate entertainment noise.

All developments impacted by entertainment noise will also require a notice placed on their title to inform potential buyers of the potential for higher noise levels in outdoor areas.

If the rollout of the Northbridge reforms is successful, consideration may be given to expanding the changes to other areas.

The public consultation paper is available here.

As stated by Planning Minister Rita Saffioti:

“Increasing infill development in our inner suburbs is a key tenet of the McGowan Government’s METRONET plan to build well-connected, active communities.

“Northbridge’s unique entertainment district is a textbook example of an area with a lively buzz that lures people to live, work and recreate on its doorstep.

“The proposed reforms seek to remove regulations that unfairly penalise entertainment venues – many of which pre-date surrounding residential developments – with onerous retrospective noise mitigation requirements.

“The planned changes will also deliver greater protection for residents who wish to move in to the area by ensuring noise is well managed, developments are well designed and buyers are well informed.”

As stated by Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:

“These important reforms represent a more integrated approach to environmental planning legislation.

“The reforms will help preserve the character of the iconic Northbridge area and ensure that the health and amenity of residents will continue to be protected within their homes.

“The proposed measures will help achieve a balance between the ongoing viability of entertainment venues and the needs of residents.”

As stated by Perth MLA John Carey:

“This is an important initiative for both venues and residents.

“We want to introduce more protections for residents to make sure buildings are constructed with good quality sound protection measures.

“The City of Perth will be responsible for determining the exact boundaries of the new precinct – and this must be done in strong consultation with local residents who live there.”

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