IT’S hoped an 18-month stalemate between a local model aircraft club and nearby residents will be resolved after Tamworth Regional Council voted to defer modification to the club’s development application (DA) to give parties further time to seek advice.
Tamworth Aero Radio Model Aircraft Club (TARMAC) sought to modify its development consent after receiving a number of complaints from a man residing at an adjoining property who claimed it was operating outside the noise specifications stipulated in the DA.
TARMAC’s original DA, approved in 2008, stated the club “must not exceed the background noise level by more than five decibels”.
In response to the man’s complaints, council visited the club on multiple occasions to observe the operations and monitor noise level.
Last week they recommended the DA be amended to state the operation of the model aircraft facility “must not exceed more than 55 decibels during the hours of operation”, something the club believes is unreasonable.
Under the modification a representative of the club must also monitor noise impact at minimum three hour intervals through each club event and document results in a register to be made available to council upon request.
TARMAC president Larry Hoskins said the original DA was generic.
“There was never a noise limit set,” he said.
“It was just a generic form that said 5db beyond ambient. The ambient figure has never really been established.”
Mr Hoskins said he was “disappointed” to receive little consultation before the final figure was handed down.
“I received a phone call last Thursday from council and basically told we’ve given you a flat
55 decibel limit and you have to do regular noise recordings for council to review at any stage,” Mr Hoskins said.
“We convened a quick committee meeting and applied for a delay in going before council ... so we had time to delve into it further to find out whether it was a reasonable noise level to be set.”
The complainant contends model aeroplanes intentionally fly over his house and property, affecting his lifestyle and tormenting his horses.
The club uses the facility at Somerton every Sunday from about 9am to 2pm and holds weekend events twice a year, Mr Hawkins said.
Councillors strongly recommended the parties seek mediation in the intervening period to resolve the dispute.
“Mediation and communication is paramount in this DA,” Cr Phil Betts said.