TOUGH rock found during the first stage of subdivision at Shiralee has ground on neighbours’ nerves, with few solutions available other than to leave.
During Orange City Council discussions on the second stage of the subdivision at 104 Lysterfield Road last week, Lesley Smith raised noise as a concern, saying further work would only worsen the impact of what she had husband Garry had already endured.
In their written submission, the Smiths said the noise and vibration from rock-breaking equipment was an “irritant” inside the house and especially affected their use of their verandah and garden.
Mr Smith said after the meeting the noise had lasted seven months and was constant apart from half-hour breaks.
“The only breaks they have are morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea,” he said.
He argued it should have been taken into account earlier given the amount of volcanic rock around Mount Canobolas.
Deputy mayor Joanne McRae asked at the meeting what could be done to enforce noise conditions and development services David Waddell said unexpected rock had been found on the site.
“There’s been a long period where rock hammering has occurred and we acknowledge all the concerns,” he said.
“In short, those state policies acknowledge that rock hammering particularly is something you cannot physically mitigate against, it’s just too loud.
“It says really what you must do is hurry up and come to neighbourhood agreements with those residents and in recent weeks we’ve had meetings with the Smiths and others and the developer has been encouraged to offer things like accommodation for those people.”
Mr Waddell believed two of three concerned neighbours had received an offer.
The Smiths have not taken up the accommodation, saying there were only seven weeks left in the current stage.
“To move out for five days a week just isn’t practical,” Mr Smith said.
The council has limited working hours for activities exceeding 75 decibels in the second stage, which include rock breaking and rock hammering, to 8am-12pm Monday to Saturday and 2pm-5pm Monday to Friday.
The activity cannot last longer than three continuous hours and must break for a minimum of two hours.