Noise

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Most activities generate noise and practicable and reasonable measures should be made to minimise the level of noise generated.

When does noise become a nuisance?

Noise may become a local nuisance if it impacts adversely on the amenity value of the area which unreasonably interferes, or is likely to unreasonably interfere, with the enjoyment of the area.

Noise sources

Local noise nuisance can originate from a number of different residential, commercial or industrial sources such as:

  • construction or demolition works
  • air conditioning units
  • pool pumps and spas
  • refrigeration equipment
  • power tools and other machinery (mowers, power tools, leaf blowers, compressors, impacting tools, mulchers)
  • rubbish collection, street and vegetation maintenance.

When do we investigate?

The Local Nuisance and Litter Control Act 2016 applies time restrictions to certain activities and equipment that generate noise.

When determining whether noise is a nuisance, an authorised officer must, in forming his/her opinion, take into account the following.

Domestic noise

Fixed machine noise (e.g. air conditioner, pool pump)

In the case of fixed machine noise generated on domestic premises, that the noise has travelled from the domestic premises to a habitable room, or an outdoor courtyard or entertainment area, on neighbouring premises; or

Non fixed machine noise (e.g. mowers, power tools, leaf blowers, compressors, impacting tools, mulchers)

In the case of noise other than fixed machine noise generated on domestic premises, that the noise has travelled from the domestic premises to neighbouring premises outside of the following permitted times:

  • between 9am and 8pm on any Sunday; or
  • between 8am and 8pm Monday to Saturday.

Construction noise

In the case of construction noise, that the noise has travelled from the location of the construction activity to neighbouring premises outside the following permitted times:

  • between 7am and 7pm Monday to Saturday.
  • Construction noise is not permitted on any Sunday or public holiday.

If you would like to make a complaint please complete the Construction Noise Complaint online form.

Waste collection noise

In the case of waste collection noise, that the noise has travelled from the place at which it was generated to neighbouring premises outside of the following permitted times:

  • between 9am and 7pm on any Sunday or public holiday; or
  • between 7am and 7pm Monday to Saturday.

Street or tree maintenance machines

In the case of noise from a street or tree maintenance machine being used in a public place, that the noise has travelled from the public place to neighbouring premises outside of the following permitted times:

  • between 9am and 7pm on any Sunday or public holiday; or
  • between 7am and 7pm Monday to Saturday.

In the case of local nuisance generated by street or tree maintenance, this activity can occur outside of normal business hours to avoid inconvenience to traffic or pedestrians during normal business hours.

Unreasonable interference?

In all cases listed above, it must be taken into account if the level, nature or extent of the noise (including its volume, pitch, vibrational frequency, prevalence or frequency of occurrence) is such as to constitute an unreasonable interference with the enjoyment of the neighbouring premises by people occupying those premises.

 

 

When should noise be reported?

In the first instance, a person should try and discuss concerns with the people (e.g. neighbours) from where the nuisance noise is coming from as they may not be aware that they are causing an issue. Concerns should be raised and discussed and suggestions provided to resolve problems - simple solutions can often be found that satisfy everyone.

A person affected by noise can contact us on 8416 6333 or email csu@wtcc.sa.gov.au.

If the matter is occurring outside of office hours and requires immediate attention, SAPOL are authorised under the Local Nuisance and Litter Control Act 2016 and may be able to attend. Council officers will contact people regarding a noise complaint as soon as possible on the next working day.

Council officers will investigate noise complaints and consider enforcement if the affected person has evidence such as times, dates, type of noise, company or vehicle details etc (preferably any photos or video footage would have time and date stamps). A person must be prepared to provide a statement and appear as a witness if the matter proceeds to court if their evidence is to be used for enforcement.

 

Are there any exemptions?

In Schedule 1 of the Local Nuisance and Litter Control Ac2016, there are a number of circumstances declared not to be a nuisance. In the case of noise, this includes (but is not limited to):

  • noise from fireworks displays
  • noise from sporting activities at a sporting facility
  • noise from public infrastructure works
  • noise principally consisting of music and voices at domestic premises
  • noise from barking dogs
  • noise from vehicles, aircraft and railways
  • noise from premises licenced under the Liquor Licencing Act 1997
  • noise from normal activities undertaken at a school, kindergarten or place of worship.

 

Applying for an exemption

Council can grant an exemption from local nuisance-causing activities upon application. Exemptions may be reasonable for short-term activities - such as festivals, events or major construction activities - where some level of noise, dust, odour or other local nuisance is likely to be unavoidable.

Applications must, however, be accompanied by a nuisance management plan describing the steps that will be taken to prevent, minimise or address any adverse effects on the amenity value of the area concerned and also describing the exceptional circumstances that exist to justify the granting of an exemption.

Request for exemption - out of hours construction online form

Download Request for exemption - out of hours construction

Approved noise exemptions

Council is required to publish a declaration issued under the Local Nuisance and Litter Control Act for carrying on a specified activity that will result in a local nuisance.

The following is a list of current Declarations issued by the City of West Torrens:

Dates Suburb Exemption letter
10 September - 12 September 2021 Lockleys Download Built Pty Ltd exemption letter

Aircraft noise

Information about aircraft noise can be found here.

Animal noise

Complaints about excessive noise from pets such as dogs, parrots and roosters can be directed to the Service Centre on 8416 6333.