The West

Bells sound warning for apartment sales
Prime spot: The Bell Tower is close to apartments. Illustration: Supplied

Luxury Elizabeth Quay apartments will be sold with a warning stamped on the title notifying buyers about the potential noise from the nearby Bell Tower.

_The West Australian _has obtained results of acoustic tests - conducted by the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority - which found the Bell Tower exceeded noise limits normally permitted near homes.

But apartment buyers would forfeit the right to complain about potential noise issues once they moved in because they were warned during the sale process.

The Swan Bells claim to be the most rung set of bells anywhere in the world, chiming for up to an hour a day, including weekends.

Up to 420 new apartments will be built right next door as part of a development that includes the five-star Ritz-Carlton hotel.

The acoustic testing showed that when all 16 bells were ringing, the noise peaked at 76 decibels, which is equivalent to the noise from a domestic vacuum cleaner.

The readings were taken from the apartment site which is less than 50m away from the Bell Tower.

When just eight bells were rung, the noise level was 64 decibels, well above the 55 decibels permitted under environmental laws before restrictions can be imposed.

The apartments next to the Bell Tower - known as The Towers - have been marketed by developer Far East Consortium as "absolute premium luxury" accommodation.

One-bedroom apartments are expected to sell from $550,000 and three-bedroom apartments for more than $1.2 million.

The Towers marketing director Angus Murray said he was confident the noise warning would not scare away buyers.

"There are marvellous building materials available these days to ensure that noise is not an issue for residents," he said.

"We have been constructing buildings like this for years, even right up against freeways . . . and you don't hear a thing."

The Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority said the potential for conflict between the Bell Tower and residents was identified more than a year ago.

But the authority said it was confident any sound issues could be minimised through clever design.

"The MRA has a robust planning framework that puts the onus on developers to mitigate noise interference for private residences," chief executive Kieran Kinsella said.

Environmental lawyer Patrick Pearlman said home owners had a right to "quiet enjoyment" of their properties. "But you are essentially bargaining that right away by agreeing to purchase a property with caveats attached," he said.

We have been constructing buildings like this for years." The Towers marketing director Angus Murray

The West Australian

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