SA Proposed Development Property Value Impact & Noise Pollution - Can Neighbour Sue?

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21 May 2015
G'day LawAnswers community,
I'm having some problems with a neighbour and was hoping someone out there may have some suggestions.

We have a small business development proposal in to council (namely a boarding kennel) and fear that if it is approved our neighbour sue us to prevent it from coming to fruition. Their concern is predominantly one of noise pollution (and the subsequent impact of noise on their property value), which we have addressed by changing our design and confirmed that the sound level at his dwelling is well below the legally required minimum.

The distance would have been sufficient anyway (at 500m) but in the interest of keeping them happy we have substantially changed the design.

We are trying desperately to get this development to work so we can keep our family farm; there have been countless sleepless nights, tears and general depressing awfulness just getting the proposal to a state that the council may approve, now we have a neighbour that will more than likely try to sue us if we do get it approved.

Given that we have had professional analyses confirm that the noise levels will be below unlawful levels does he have any case? What if anything can he sue us for and If he tries to sue what are our chances?

P.S. I realise the later question there is exceedingly general but any advice would be helpful.


Well-Known Member
10 February 2015
Hi there,

From the information you have provided, it doesn't sound as though your neighbour will have a case against you.

If they are upset about noise pollution and then seek legal advice, their lawyer will likely advise them against bringing proceedings if you haven't breached the maximum noise level limit. It would be a waste of everyone's time.

Additionally, once you have council approval, there is little they can do unless they can find that you or the council have broken a law.

Personally, I wouldn't worry too much at this stage. Proceed with your plans, follow the law in regards to approvals processes and noise limits and deal with each obstacle as it comes.
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