Report unwanted noise from licensed venues and commercial premises
Licensed premises, entertainment venues and commercial operations can create unwanted noise outside business hours. However, these businesses are subject to controls.
Project Status: When you need to do this
What you need to do
Reporting noisy patrons
- Complaints about patron noise should be directed to Liquor & Gaming NSW.
- Complaints about anti-social behaviour from patrons should be directed to the NSW Police Force.
Please note, the City of Sydney don’t have the ability to practically regulate anti-social patron noise from licensed premises and entertainment venues. To ensure your report can be resolved, contact the above organisations.
Reporting noise from a premises
- Noise complaints from any premises within the City of Sydney local area can be investigated by us. Contact us to make a report.
- If one of our authorised officers is able to gather appropriate evidence and has assessed the noise as being ‘offensive’, as defined under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act, we may be able to take action on a person’s behalf and serve a legal notice to control the noise. Noise emissions from venues operating within their noise conditions of consent would normally not be found as offensive under the act.
Reporting excessive noise from a commercial operation
- In most incidences, we’re the appropriate regulatory authority for controlling offensive noise from premises. Contact us to make a report.
Please note, there are some premises or land that due to the property or land ownership, fall outside our authority and it’s the responsibility of other authorities to regulate.
Other useful contacts
Licensed premises and entertainment venues
Music and patron noise from restaurants, hotels, entertainment venues and other licensed premises can sometimes reach excessive levels. Conditions of consent are technical in nature and limit the overall level of noise, its frequency characteristics and its effect on both residential and noise sensitive commercial operations.
Our standard conditions of consent for controlling noise apply to most recently approved licensed premises within the City of Sydney local area. A non-technical summary of the conditions of consent for noise from licensed premises at neighbouring residential locations is provided below.
- Background noise is determined from the environmental noise levels at the affected property in the absence of any licensed premises noise.
- From 7am to midnight, noise from a licensed venue as measured at the edge of a residential property shouldn’t exceed the background noise level by 5 decibels (dB).
- From midnight to 7am, noise from a licensed venue as measured at the edge of a residential property should not exceed the background noise level. Additionally, noise should not be audible within any habitable room of the residential premises.
- Entertainment noise, particularly music can be tonal in nature, therefore applicable limits apply to the frequencies of noise from the licensed premises in relation to those which characterise the background noise of an area.
Some, typically older venues exist under legacy conditions of consent and do not have operational noise limits.
Typical issues associated with commercial premises include:
- mechanical and electrical plant
- forklifts/delivery vehicles
- loading docks
- other commercial/process-related noise.
Development conditions of consent for noise also apply to most commercial operations within the City of Sydney local area. We apply a variety of noise conditions at the planning and development stage to minimise the risk of noise problems developing once a commercial operation has been approved.
Some commercial operations may not have been subject to planning controls or there may be other circumstances leading to a noise nuisance. In such circumstances where we have been able to gather appropriate evidence and the noise has been assessed as offensive under the definition of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act, we may be able to take action on a person's behalf and serve a legal notice to control the noise.