Neighbourhood Noise Inspections Enforcement Unit Page of Contd Noise is a common source of annoyance in Christchurch

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Neighbourhood Noise Inspections & Enforcement Unit Page 1 of 3 Contd Noise is a common source of annoyance in Christchurch. We all make some noise as we go about our everyday lives, but we need to ensure that the noise we make is not excessive or unreasonable to others. Your neighbourhood should be a peaceful place, and the information presented here shows how this can be achieved. How to Minimise Neighbourhood Noise You can significantly reduce noise levels from your property by keeping loudspeakers inside, closing doors and windows, and controlling amplification. Be co

nsiderate to your neighbours, and if youre planning a noisy activity keep them informed with a friendly chat beforehand. This is an opportunity to create and maintain good neighbourly relations. Radios, TVs and Stereos Usually its the unreasona bly loud use of stereos in residential neighbourhoods that causes most concern. Use the controls to keep the volume down especially late at night. The bass control should also be kept low, as a deep bass sound or beat can easily travel and be very annoying. Headphones allow you to listen to loud music without annoying your neighbours. Cordless

headphones and personal stereos with earpieces also let you enjoy music and have freedom of movement around the house and to outside areas such as your garden. Dont turn up the stereo in one room in order to listen to music in another room, or while youre outside. Musical instruments If the musical instrument c an be amplified, you should keep the volume low, or use personal headphones. Schedule practice times to avoid the early morning or late evening. Drumming and amplified band practice is often loud. Because this can be very annoying to neighbours and is inappropriate in residential

areas, the Councils noi se control service can ask that such practice sessions cease. So if its not possible to practice in a room with sound insulation or at a time that neighbours agree to, another venue should be found. A practice venue in a non-residential area could be more suitable. Late night parties A party or barbecue can be lots of fun for guests and hosts alike, but it will be a nuisance to the neighbours if its unreasonably loud. Remember the neighbours its considerate to let them know beforehand. Stick to any agreed finish time. If youre planning a particularly large party,

consider hiring a suitable venue such as a hall. It can also be appropriate to advise the Councils noise control service beforehand. Providing contac t details for the event can be helpful for all concerned. Control the music levels and keep windows and doors shut so that noise doesnt disturb neighbours. This is especially important late at night, when neighbours may be sleeping. Pool parties, BBQs, and other outside entertainment should move indoors in the late evening. Please remind your guests to depart quietly. If you do have a visit from the Councils noise control service you should

carefully follow their advice and directions. Gardening and DIY work Lawn mowers, chainsaws and other outdoor power tools usually arent a problem when theyre used only occasionally at a reasonable time of the day. Avoid operating this type of noisy equipment in the early morning or during the late evening. Use night time for quiet work such as painting. DIY home renovation is often a weekend or evening activity. Noisy work involving hammering or power tools should be programmed for appropriate times, such as the middle of the day or the early evening. Noisy DIY work shouldnt start prior to

7 am Monday to Saturday, or 9 am on Sundays. Loud DIY work should finish by 8 pm. Its a good idea to keep neighbours informed if you intend carrying out significant amounts of noisy DIY work. Cars and motorcycles Car and motorcycle engines can sound very noisy in residential areas at night time. If youre returning home in the late evening or have to depart early in the morning, try to operate the vehicle quietly especially if your driveway or garage is near a neighbours bedroom. A horn should only be used for emergencies, and the vehicles exhaust system should be properly maintained.

Excessive engine revving or prolonged idling should be avoided. If youre repairing vehicles, follow the above advice about the timing of DIY work . This is important if the repairs involve the operation of the engine or the use of hammers and power tools. Car stereo amplification should always be kept to a reasonable level. Off road vehicles such as 4WDs or motorcycles shouldnt be operated on residential land, or around open spaces near houses. Animals Dog barking can be very disturbing in a neighbourhood. There are many reasons for a dog to bark and the Christchurch City Councils animal

control officers can provide helpful suggestions to correct excessive barking.
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Neighbourhood Noise Inspections & Enforcement Unit Page 2 of 3 Contd Initial contact with an An imal Control Officer can be made by phoning the Councils number 941-8999. Information can also be obtained from the Christchurch City Councils website at the following address: http://www.ccc.govt.nz/homeliv ing/petsanimals/ownerre sponsibilities/excessdogbarking.aspx Sometimes roosters in a residential area disturb sleep. As its nearly impossible to control the noise of a rooster crowing, its best

if theyre removed to a rural area. Alarms Reliability is important if an alarm system is to be effective, and this is best achieved with regular checks by an authorised service company. The alarm system should be properly checked straight away if it activates when there hasnt been an intruder. Arrange for the alarm system to be monitored, and advise your neighbours about contact details if it activates. If youre installing an alarm system choose a model that automatically resets after a limited period of activation. Its helpful to have a sign displaying contact information. Make sure that

the details are kept up to date. Generally For your neighbours sake, always keep music levels to a reasonable level. It shouldnt be at all intrusive at another residence. Keep an ear on children playing outside. The noise of balls thrown or kicked for prolonged periods against fences or walls near neighbouring properties can sometimes be irritating. Be careful when selecting and installing noise- producing equipment for use around your property. For example, air conditioning units (heat pumps) and pool pumps near boundaries sometimes cause problems for neighbours. Ask the supplier and

installer to make sure that all such equipment m eets the Christchurch City Councils noise criteria. For help and advice with noise problems contact the Councils Environmental Health Officers te lephone 941 899 9. However, they cant help with some noise sources including vehicles using roads, aircraft in flight, trains, watercraft and inter-tenancy noise. If youre concerned that a particul ar vehicle using the road is too loud, this should be referred to the NZ Police telephone 363 7400. Environment Canterbury telephone 365 3828 may be able to assist with concerns about noise from

watercraft. Concerns about noise from anot her tenant occupying the same building, or an adjoining unit which has the same property owner, should be referred to the owner or person managing the property. How is noise assessed, and when is noise unreasonable? Residential neighbourhood noise emissions, such as from loud stereos, are assessed on a commonsense basis simply by listening to determine if the noise is excessive. A number of factors are taken into account besid es the volume of the noise. These include matters such as the time of day or night, the reason for the noise, whether or not

the noise has a particular tonal character, how often it occurs and for how long. Depending on these factors, noise can be unreasonable or excessive at any time of the day or night. There are specific rules about noise from fixed plant or equipment, such as refrigeration or ventilation systems used in industrial or commercial operations. Sound level measurements taken with a calibrated meter are used to objectively assess such noise. The measured levels are compared to the relevant levels set by the Christchurch City Plan rules. This assessment method is sometimes used for fixed equipment at

residential properties. The City Plan The City Plan noise rules are available for viewing at Christchurch City Council Service Centres, and the Civic Offices. The City Plan can also be viewed at the Christchurch Central Library at the corner of Oxford Terrace and Gloucester Street telephone 941 7923, or on the Councils website www.cityplan.ccc.govt.nz . The Resource Management Act 1991 The Resource Management Act 1991 also has provisions relating to the noise matters outlined in this brochure. The Resource Management Act can be viewed at the Central Library, or can be accessed online at

www.legislation.govt.nz What can be done about unreasonable or excessive noise from neighbours? Informal approaches If you find that noise from a neighbouring property is an ongoing source of annoyance, it may be possible to resolve the concern by having an amicable talk with the neighbour causing the noise. They may not realise the annoya nce that the noise causes and be willing to help you. Often these concerns are best settled on a neighbourly basis. Formal action You can also call the Christchurch City Council at any time to lodge a complaint about noise t hat concerns you. The noise

control service telephone number is 941 8999. Although the noise control service keeps your name and address confidential, in some circumstances it can be apparent who has raised a concern. One of the first steps taken after receiving a complaint about noise is to arrange for the noise to be assessed and this can be done at any neighbouring place including the nearby roadway. If the noise is assessed as being unreasonable or excessive, generally, the next step is to ask for a reduction in noise volume. Usually this is all that is needed. However, the officer attending the complaint can also

start enforce ment action if the noise is too loud. This can take the form of a Direction to Reduce Noise, given either verbally or in writing, to anyone at the place where the excessive noise is being produced. A Direction to Reduce Noise can last up to 72 hours.
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Neighbourhood Noise Inspections & Enforcement Unit Page 3 of 3 Contd If the noise continues to be too loud, the stereo and any other noise producing equipment may be seized and removed. NZ Police are involved during such seizures. Other enforcement procedures can also be commenced. These could include imposing a

sizeable infringement fee, and legal orders which incur substantial financial penalt ies that are enforceable through the courts. These enforcement procedures could involve both occupants and owners of the pr operty where theres excessive noise. Equipment seizure Stereos and any other noisy de vices or equipment that have been seized are taken into the possession of the Christchurch City Council. Although the seized equipment may be returned, this will only occur if its been sa tisfactorily established that the return of the equipment wont resu lt in further co mplaints about loud noise.

Consequently, there can be a delay while this matter is considered and the situation reviewed. Equipment is only returned to the owner and suitable proof of identity is required for this purpose. Theres also a requirement that all costs are reimbursed before equipment is returned. Noise from Businesses When theres a complaint concerning noise from a commercial or industrial operation, the Christchurch City Councils Environmental Health Officers can measure the noise with a meter. If the noise exceeds the relevant levels set by the rules in the City Plan, a request will be made to reduce the

noise emission to a complying level. If necessary, the request can be enforced. However, this will depend on factors such as the time it would take to properly achieve a reduction; as well as the loudness of the noise. Commercial Construction and Demolition Work Often construction and demolition work is unavoidably loud, and the rules about such work allow for higher noise levels than other activities. This is based on the restriction of the noisy construction or demolition activity to certain times in the day. A New Zealand Standard specifies both the times of the day and the noise levels.

The noise levels can be measured with a meter and, provided that the levels in the Standard are met at nearby residential areas, noisy work between 7 am and 6 pm is generally acceptable from Monday to Saturday. Public holidays and Sundays should be quiet. The New Zealand Standard for construction noise (NZS 6803:1999) can be purchased from Standards New Zealand, Private Bag 2439, Wellington Ph. 0800 782 632 Website www.standards.co.nz . Summary Amplified music can easily become excessive noise unless care is taken to make sure that its not intrusive for your neighbours. Keep the volume and

the bass down, especia lly at night-time. Be considerate and ensure that any noise producing equipment is appropriately placed and controlled to cause the least discomfort or annoyance to your neighbours. Further information can be obtained by contacting the Call Centre. The contact number for noise control and advice is telephone 941 8999. A request for further information can also be made through the Christchurch City Councils website: www.ccc.govt.nz keyword: noise. Prepared by The Environmental Compliance Team Inspections and Enforcement Unit Christchurch City Council 53 Hereford Street

PO Box 73013, Christchurch Telephone 941-8999 Email: Info@ccc.govt.nz www.ccc.govt.nz 09/234676 ESEH450 06/10


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