Call to make nightclubs pay for soundproofing

Northbridge residents say double-glazing is not enough to stop nightclub noise.
Northbridge residents say double-glazing is not enough to stop nightclub noise.

NORTHBRIDGE residents have called on late night venues to pay a tax or be given grants to reduce the amount of noise they produce.

Several residents gave deputations at a City of Perth special council meeting this month about proposed new planning rules to control noise.

At the meeting, City of Perth commissioners voted to begin an amendment to the City’s planning scheme that divide Northbridge into “core” and “frame” areas, with varying noise levels allowed in each area.

The core area is roughly bounded by Aberdeen Street, William Street, Roe Street and Parker Street.

The frame area would surround the core and roughly follow Newcastle Street, Stirling Street, Wellington Street and Fitzgerald Street.

Some nightclub owners had warned the City the requirements to reduce noise levels could force them to close.

Residents who spoke at the meeting said noise levels were affecting their quality of life.

James Street resident Eric Marshall said people living in the area were finding it difficult to sleep on Friday and Saturday nights.

“When we shut our windows we have earplugs jammed all the way in our ears and we can still hear the bass noises,” he said.

“My neighbour has had double glazing imported from Europe and even he finds that noise still comes in.

“I’m getting triple glazing installed in a month and I’m concerned it’s not going to keep the noise out.”

He said a one-off tax on late night venues would generate enough money to sound-proof homes.

“I realise the nightclubs generate millions of dollars of revenue for local businesses,” Mr Marshall said.

“I’m not aware of any compensation made by the City of Perth or any government agencies when the nightclubs came around.

“I realise it is Northbridge and it is going to be noisy.”

Ghislaine Naceur, a nurse shift worker who lives in Shenton Street, said the City should offer nightclubs grants to help them meet noise requirements.

“I’m quite happy to have nightclubs in my area as long as they let me sleep,” she said.

“Even when the Fringe Festival is in the park I find it very difficult day or night to sleep.”

David Kibble, of John Street, said he had lived in the area since 1998 and the City had an opportunity to make Northbridge better for residents.

He said the planning amendment should include compensation for residents so they could install double-glazing.

“Unless you can give them (nightclubs) some kind of grant to make themselves soundproof then the noise is going to be really intolerable,” he said.

More news from around Perth