New noise rules for city developers

Thursday 11 November 2004

Rules changes to overcome noise problems for inner-city residents might not please anyone in the short term, a Dunedin City Council planner concedes.

By The Landlord

The council is proposing a district plan change to try to resolve conflicts between inner-city entertainment venues and residents. If adopted, new residential developments would have to be fitted with more acoustic insulation. The general noise limit would be lifted to 60 decibels, but music venues producing noise with "special audible characteristics" - usually low-frequency bass sounds - would have to stay within 55 decibels.

The change will be discussed by the council planning and environment committee on Monday.

Planner John Sule said yesterday, "We have looked at all the options and think we have come up with a reasonable compromise. But the venue operators won't be happy, as they still have to meet noise limits, and the developers won't be happy because they will face additional building conversions costs."

The council had no power to impose retrospective insulation rules, so the change would not solve noise problems for residents already living in an estimated 250 inner-city units, he said. However, the plan change would mean future inner-city residents would be assured of "an appropriate indoor living environment", Mr Sule said.

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