The State Government has opened for public comment reforms protecting Northbridge venues against noise complaints from neighbouring residents.
The reforms will provide protections for the entertainment district’s vibrant nightlife culture, following concerns about noise levels from entertainment premises including pubs and clubs.
“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,” Planning Minister Rita Saffioti said.
“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.”
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 will provide protection for venues along with clear and consistent guidelines for new developments.
It will include the removal of existing “outdoor amenity protections” that will allow higher levels of noise in residential outdoor areas.
Noise mitigation will also be the responsibility of a new development and not existing venues and new developments will also be required to undertake a noise assessment and demonstrate how a construction and design will mitigate entertainment noise.
Developments impacted by entertainment noise will need to place a notice on their title to inform potential buyers of potential higher outdoor noise levels.
“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,” Mrs Saffioti said.
It the reforms are successful in Northbridge, it could be expanded to other areas.
Perth MLA John Carey said it was 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,” Mr Carey said.
“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 here.”
Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said the reforms will help preserve Northbridge as an entertainment district while considering residents in the area.
“The proposed measures will help achieve a balance between the ongoing viability of entertainment venues and the needs of residents,” Mr Dawson said.
“The reform 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.”