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Environment Protection Authority

Noisy night time works at Berry Street Upgrade cease until further notice

Media release: 22 April 2016

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has directed North Sydney Council to cease all, night-time noise generating activities associated with the Berry Street Upgrade until further notice.

Effective from 5pm Friday 15th April 2016, the Prevention Notice was issued after the EPA received over 20 noise complaints from residents at Berry Street that alleged significant sleep disturbance for more than four weeks due to works happening between 7pm and 5am.

Peter Bloem, Acting Director Metropolitan Branch, EPA, said that the EPA first began to receive complaints about noise at Berry Street on the 14 March 2016.

“The EPA has investigated dozens of calls from residents at Berry Street complaining about jack hammering, concrete cutting and constant deliveries from trucks using loud reversing beepers six nights per week,” he said.

“Unless carefully managed, high noise levels from construction can adversely affect nearby residents, especially at night-time,” Mr Bloem said.

North Sydney Council have until Friday 22nd April 2016 to submit a Noise Management Plan for the works in accordance with the EPA’s Interim Construction Noise Guidelines (PDF 1.2MB) 

"There are cases when night time construction noise might be unavoidable but proper planning should be put in place to prevent and minimise noise pollution – in this case it appears this has not been done effectively,” Mr Bloem said.

“The EPA will consider the plan but night time noise generating activities at Berry Street must not recommence until the EPA is satisfied,” he said.

Recommendations in the EPA’s Interim Construction Noise Guidelines which should be considered at the Berry Street Upgrade include:

  • noise mitigation measures such as respite periods for out-of-hours noisy activities
  • evidence of consultation with the affected community
  • the provision of a 24/7 complaints line to respond to noise complaints at the time they are made.

The Berry Street Upgrade, due to be completed by July 2016, includes new footpath paving, a new kerb and gutter, paved service utility pits, public seating, bins and new tree surrounds.

Prevention Notices are one of a number of tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance, including penalty notices, formal warnings, licence conditions, notices and directions, mandatory audits, enforceable undertakings, legally binding pollution reduction programs and prosecutions.

The EPA must also take a range of factors into account before delivering a proportionate regulatory response, including the degree of environmental harm, whether or not there are any real or potential health impacts, if the action of the offender was deliberate, compliance history, public interest and best environmental outcomes.

For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/prosguid.htm.

Ends

Contact: EPA Public Affairs

Page last updated: 22 April 2016