Council to consider “noise issues” in central Christchurch

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Mar 30, 2023 |

Christchurch City Council will next week consider approving new measures aimed at addressing noise issues in the central city.

On Wednesday councillors will consider a staff report recommending a blended approach of regulatory and non-regulatory initiatives to manage the effects of noise, particularly in the central city’s mixed-use residential and commercial areas.

Read the Council report.

If approved, the Council will undertake a plan change process to review the District Plan, determine whether changes were needed and, if so, amend the Plan accordingly. The full process would take at least two years to complete.

Possible changes to the District Plan could include reviewing the precincts identified for entertainment and hospitality in the central city and their related provisions, amending noise limits and insulation requirements, and other options that may be identified throughout the plan change process.

The Council report notes that aside from matters of live music, there is also need to ensure the consistency of rules managing effects of road noise between the central city and other areas, and to review the extent of the Canterbury Multi-Use Arena Noise Insulation Area.

It also outlines a number of low-cost non-regulatory initiatives the Council could undertake at the same time as a plan change process.

These include ongoing engagement with local property owners, developers, venues and music industry members, to discuss ways to manage the effects of noise and, where applicable, provide advice about responsibilities when it comes to noise standards under the District Plan.

However, none of the lower-cost initiatives would serve as a “silver bullet to address issues associated with noise tensions in mixed-use environments”, the report says. Rather, they are considered a suitable starting point to help improve understanding of the types of actions that can be taken to reduce the impacts of noise.

The report also notes a range of other, potentially higher-cost initiatives for possible future consideration.

An estimated 7,760 people currently live within the central city’s four avenues.

Early feedback from the Council’s latest Life in Christchurch survey, which will be updated at Wednesday’s meeting, shows that noise from traffic is the most commonly reported source of excessive noise by central-city respondents, with music from bars and restaurants the third most reported source.

The Council report notes that a total of 15 central-city entertainment venues have been subject to noise complaints from 2021 to date, with several found to not be breaching standards when assessed.

Venues have taken action to respond to the complaints, with the majority now closed and only three still working on agreed mitigation actions.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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