Noise regulations in land preparation works on residential subdivisions

In October 2008, EPA released the Environment Protection (Residential Noise) Regulations 2008.

The Regulations replace the former 1997 regulations with some changes to the way large scale construction noise is managed. EPA consulted extensively with residents, local government, police and the residential construction industry to develop the Regulations.

The Regulations set the permissible work hours for early land clearing/road preparation work on residential subdivisions. The key changes are to the work hours permitted on a Saturday.

Allowable work hours on a Saturday depend on the location and type of site:

  • for infill developments, small/single-lot subdivisions and housing construction, allowed from 9 am on Saturdays
  • for new subdivision land preparation work in designated growth areas or at the fringe of metropolitan Melbourne or rural centres, allowed from 7 am on Saturdays, with some restrictions.

Sites starting at 7 am must meet certain buffer conditions. These enable critical-path work while minimising noisier work between 7 am and 9 am:

  • No early work is permitted closer than 35 m from residences.
  • Between 35 and 200 m distance, limited equipment can be used from 7 am Saturday – 
    • earthmoving machinery (such as graders or excavators)
    • concrete trucks
    • self-propelled, single-drum vibrating rollers
    • non-vibrating compaction machinery
    • at this distance, noisier equipment must not be used before 9 am. This means all other types of compaction plant (e.g. double drum vibrating roller) and impacting, vibrating or rotating tools and implements (for example, a rock breaker attached to an excavator).
  • A time limit applies to 35–200 m works –
    • within this distance from homes, infrastructure work from 7 to 9 am on Saturdays may only continue for a period of 20 weeks. Beyond this period, remaining work must start from 9 am.
  • More than 200 m from the property boundary, noisier equipment may also be used from 7 am – 
    • impacting, vibrating or rotating implements
    • all types of compaction equipment
    • other tools such as jackhammers, drills etc
    • pile-drivers must not be used before 9 am.

Note that after 9 am on Saturdays, the buffer requirements do not apply.

For further information, please see Noise from large residential subdivision or urban development sites (Publication no 1264).

Page last updated on 18 Sep 2012