RESIDENTS in a block of Maryville townhouses say they are sick of being shocked awake in the middle of the night by car transporters driving in and out of the Newcastle City Holden and Newcastle Mazda businesses across the road in Hannell Street.
Almost 80 Regatta Keys residents have signed a petition to Newcastle City Council over the noise, and are concerned the dealers opposite are moving to “legitimise” the activity by applying to extend their hours of operation beyond 5pm on weekdays and 4pm on weekends to 10pm every day.
Residents Jim Plummer and Steve Hardy said on Wednesday that unfortunately, given that there were ample examples of car transporters turning up at “one and two in the morning”, the residents had little faith that the company would stick to its promises, even if the council did extend its operating hours to 10am.
“We know we live in a noisy area,” Mr Plummer said. “But the one time it is quiet here is after midnight. One problem is the driveways, which are designed to stop run-off into Throsby Creek but only make it impossible for the semis to drive over without scraping. Even though they put a concrete grinder to the humps they still hit them.
“Then it’s the unloading itself, with the steel flaps hitting the tar and then the cars coming down from the top of the double-decker transporters going bang, bang, bang all the way down. It’s like someone hitting a steel pipe against the wall of your bedroom.
“The council seemed interested in our concerns when we went to them earlier this year but then nothing happened, but now the company has this application in to extend hours, plus there’s another application next door for an Audi dealership and workshop, which is only going to add to the noise.”
The application to modify the hours of operating at 248 Hannell Street is being processed by the council, which has a “notification” period open until August 30 for people to make comment.
An application to build a new $6 million car dealership and workshop at 270 Hannell Street was on display until earlier this month.
Documents relating to both applications can be viewed on the council’s Development Application tracker
The Perth-based owner of the dealerships, Automotive Holdings Group, said its businesses “understand their responsibilities to the communities in which they operate”.
A spokesperson said the proposed hours were suitable given it was a “predominantly industrial precinct”. An accoustic report found that deliveries between 5pm and 10pm would not result in “obtrusive” noise.
“Nonetheless we accept there may be concerns over the alleged delivery of vehicles outside existing permitted hours and our operations team are investigating those claims,” AHG said.
“For efficiency, some of the car carriers have keys to the premises but the business has specifically instructed the car carriers (who are not engaged by us) that deliveries are not to be made outside permitted hours.”
Mr Hardy said the fact drivers had keys to the yards proved they operated outside of hours.
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