Guildford couple calls on City of Swan for stronger noise regulations

Sue and Mark Cantrell with their dog Henry.
Picture: David Baylis   d483487
Sue and Mark Cantrell with their dog Henry. Picture: David Baylis d483487

A GUILDFORD couple want stronger regulations to protect residents after a dispute between neighbours and the City of Swan over noise.

Mark and Sue Cantrell have spent the past three years embroiled in a dispute and now legal battle over noise.

After moving to Guildford three years ago, the couple became concerned with loud drumming from their neighbour’s house and after failing to rectify the situation with their neighbour, approached the City.

They said the City told them there was nothing it could do and asked them to keep a noise diary.

Mr Cantrell said they had kept a noise diary for the past two years and made several complaints to the City, with nothing done.

However, in April the couple received a noise abatement warning letter from the City after their neighbour complained about them listening to their radio.

“We tried to be polite and asked them to close the windows of their house while playing drums, but nothing was done, so we decided to approach the City,” he said.

“We have done everything the City has told us to do, including keeping a noise diary for two years, without much feedback or investigation. I couldn’t believe it when we were out one sunny afternoon planting roses and listening to talkback radio on our veranda and we received a noise abatement notice.”

Mr Cantrell said he was frustrated the law was not on his side and musical instruments were subject to exemptions, where radio noise was not.

“My biggest issue is that someone can complain about a radio being on at a reasonable level once and action was initiated straight away but I’ve spent two years having to deal with loud drumming noises without anything being done,” he said.

“It’s caused major stress to my wife and I.”

Swan chief executive Mike Foley said regulations were different for musical instruments and radio noise.

“Musical instruments are subject to the exemptions provided by regulation 14 of the Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations,” he said.

“The exemption is conditional on the instrument being used in a ‘reasonable’ manner within certain timeframes.

“In late 2017, the City received a complaint alleging unreasonable noise from a radio or similar used at the Mr Cantrell’s property. As per standard practice, a warning letter was sent to Mr and Mrs Cantrell concerning alleged unreasonable noise emissions.

“This was to bring the matter to their attention and to afford them the opportunity to reflect on the matter. A second complaint and noise log was received regarding radio noise in April 2018, resulting in a second warning letter being sent to the Cantrells.

“Mr Cantrell’s noise log on his neighbour was received by the City in April 2018, his complaint was investigated a few days later, with the noise found not to be unreasonable.

“Further complaints from Mr Cantrell have resulted in further investigations, which are to be concluded soon.”

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