Land development activities include: 

  • earthmoving 
  • land clearing 
  • subdivision works, such as drainage, sewerage and building roads within subdivisions. 

Managing land development noise

Ways to manage land development noise include: 

  • restricting work and vehicle movements to normal working hours 
  • scheduling noisy activities, such as pile driving or rock breaking, to less sensitive times 
  • advising any neighbours residing close by of noisy activities 
  • providing signs with contact details for the builder or project manager 
  • using the lowest noise equipment or technique to do the job. 

Enforcing construction site noise requirements

Councils enforce construction site noise requirements, including land preparation works. Councils can apply our guidelines through permits and local laws. Or as a reference in compliance decisions under the Environment Protection Act 1970.

Find out more about the noise requirements that apply, based on the type of land development and its location. 

  • Land development for large-scale residential subdivisions

    The Environment Protection (Residential Noise) Regulations 2018 (the Regulations) apply to large-scale residential subdivisions. This includes land preparation and infrastructure work such as:

    • earth moving 
    • building roads 
    • installing drains and sewers.  

    Prohibited times under the Regulations

    The Regulations prohibit noise from construction equipment before 7 am and after 8 pm on weekdays. This is if a neighbour can hear it in their home. 

    On Saturdays, the Regulations prohibit noise depending on the location and type of site:

    • land preparation work for new subdivisions in designated growth areas and at the fringe of metropolitan Melbourne or rural centres – prohibited before 7 am. This is with some restrictions on equipment used and distance from homes. For more information, see the guidelines Civil construction, building and demolition guide (publication 1834) 
    • land preparation and other construction work at all other subdivision developments – prohibited before 9 am. This is if a neighbouring resident can hear the noise in their home.  

    Our advice for normal working hours

    While the non-prohibited times in the Regulations are longer, our advice for normal working hours is as follows.

    For land preparation on large-scale residential subdivision designated growth areas and at the fringe of metropolitan Melbourne or rural centres: 

    For land preparation at all other subdivisions, if a neighbouring resident can hear the noise in their home:  

    • weekdays – 7 am to 6 pm  
    • Saturday – 9 am to 1 pm.  
  • Land development for infill and smaller residential developments

    The Environment Protection (Residential Noise) Regulations 2018 (the Regulations) apply to land development for infill and smaller residential developments.

    Prohibited times under the Regulations

    The Regulations prohibit noise from construction equipment, if a neighbouring resident can hear it in their home, on: 

    • weekdays – before 7 am and after 8 pm 
    • weekends – before 9 am and after 8 pm. 

    Our advice for normal working hours

    While the non-prohibited times in the Regulations are longer, our advice for normal working hours is: 

    • weekdays – 7 am to 6 pm  
    • Saturday – 9 am to 1 pm. 
  • Land development for commercial and industrial subdivisions

    If you’re a business developing land for commercial and industrial subdivisions, you are expected to minimise your environmental impacts wherever possible.

    The Civil construction, building and demolition guide (publication 1834) provides information about managing noise that is relevant to land development for commercial and industrial subdivisions.  

    Our advice for normal working hours

    Normal working hours for commercial and industrial land subdivision are: 

    • weekdays – 7 am to 6 pm  
    • Saturdays – 7 am to 1 pm. 

Reviewed 19 January 2021