ST JEROME’S parish in Munster says it’s trying to work with the community to solve noise problems that have left the primary school’s assemblies up in the air.
The school has been unable to hold assemblies in the parish hall because the PA system is breaching state noise regulations by 20 decibels. The issue is also affecting the church’s ability to hire out the hall in the evenings and weekends.
There was a bit of fire and brimstone on social media this week as parents vented at Cockburn council, which they thought had banned the school from using the hall at all, but planning director Daniel Arndt says it was only ever aimed at the PA.
“The city has received numerous complaints since May 2016 from two separate residents about excessive noise from amplified music and an amplified public address system emanating from St Jerome’s Catholic parish hall,” Mr Arndt said.
St Jerome’s is 80 years old and has been at the corner of Rockingham Road and Troode Street since 1978, but infill has caught up with the former market gardening district, and about four years ago the swampy land behind the church was developed into housing.
Mr Arndt said the city asked the parish to deal directly with the neighbours, but that didn’t work and complaints continued.
Council officers were sent round to take readings and found the noise was above acceptable levels.
Primary schools are usually exempt from some noise regulations, but because the parish hall is technically on a separate block, that doesn’t apply in this case.
“It’s legislation,” parish chairman Chris Sparks shrugged somewhat philosophically.
Mr Sparks said they had been in contact with an acoustic consultant to look at whether they could soundproof the hall, and in the meantime would go unplugged and try to work with the parish community, school parents and neighbours to resolve the issue.
by STEVE GRANT