NIMBY neighbour shot down

RAFFLES HOTEL fans can look forward to summer bevies under the stars this year after a millionaire neighbour’s attempts to curtail its beer garden failed in WA’s Court of Appeal.

Miner Derek Ammon lives in a $2.7 million apartment on the fifth floor of the Raffles complex, overlooking the beer garden and close to the hotel’s upstairs bar.

He’s waged a one-man war against the hotel since it was redeveloped in 2014, claiming that since then it’s been so noisy he’s been unable to enjoy his apartment and has even had to resort to wearing industrial strength headphones to read a book.

“I have tried to remain calm about the situation but on occasions I have not been able to remain calm and have done some silly things which I later regretted,” Mr Ammon told the court.

• The Raffles has seen off a neighbour who wanted its beer garden’s hours curtailed over noise.

That included the infamous tomato-throwing incident in May 2016 when he pelted speakers in the beer garden from his balcony following an altercation with the bar’s managers.

An acoustic consultant hired by Mr Ammon discovered he’s not just imagining things; the beer garden regularly exceeds noise levels prescribed by regulations. Even if the music was turned off the noise of the crowd alone would probably push it over.

But the three judges who heard Mr Ammon’s appeal said breaching the regulations wasn’t enough to prove the noise was a nuisance.

“The absence of other complaints suggests that Mr Ammon’s subjective experience of the noise…may be peculiar to him,” Justice Graeme Murphy wrote in his judgement, which was delivered on Thursday.

Buying next door to a well-established entertainment venue also counted against him.

The judgement also revealed that Melville council has decided it’s “not in the public interest” to pursue the Raffles for breaching the noise regulations.

In an email to Mr Ammon’s solicitor June Kenny, the city said it was also mindful of the “current climate around noise and music venues” as a result of the McGowan government’s plans to clamp down on noise complaints from people living in entertainment precincts.

by STEVE GRANT

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