The consequence of noise emission from developments, public utilities and transport operations is a complex issue and in many cases applications or assessments for such developments are not approved or fully understood by communities and regulatory authorities with many planning applications coming before courts and tribunals.
The provision of expert evidence in resolving acoustic and vibration disputes is a way of life in our modern society with many cases covering a wide range of projects being assessed by the firm.
Our principal Mr Cooper regularly appears as an expert witness for all sides of disputed arguments, that being for the applicant, the regulatory authority and in some cases appointed as the court’s expert.
Appearance in court matters is not just restricted to one State in Australia or Environmental Courts but can also occur in Local Courts, Licensing Courts, District Courts, Supreme Courts and in some matters before the Federal Court of Australia.
The provision of such evidence requires a significant expertise in acoustics and understanding of standards, the application of such standards and noise issues.
The matter of independence for both presentation evidence in Court and even the conduct of compliance testing is sometimes raised by residents in view of differing opinions that may occur between acoustic experts and in some respects examples of matters concerning licensed premises reveals the need for proper acoustic assessment by way of physical measurements rather than theoretical basis can be seen in decisions of the New South Wales Land and Environment Court in relation to 2 licensed premises:
• The Dolphin Hotel; Icon Hospitality Management Pty Ltd vs. City of Sydney Council, Judge : C Hussey, Court: Land and Environment, LEC Reference: 2007 NSWLEC 239, Date: 18/05/07.
• The Sugarmill Hotel; Darlinghurst Road Holdings Pty Ltd vs. City of Sydney Council, Judge: C Murrell, Court: Land and Environment, LEC Reference: 2011 NSWLEC 1041, Date: 16/02/11.
Similarly in terms of environmental noise issues matters before our Environmental Court in New South Wales have been in relation to:
• Aircraft noise.
• Helicopter noise.
• Construction sites.
• Domestic air-conditioning.
• Retail and industrial developments.
• Licensed premises.
• Neighbourhood disputes.