07/09/2018 - 14:14

Raffles Hotel noise complaint dismissed

07/09/2018 - 14:14

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The Supreme Court has thrown out a claim by former mining executive Derek Ammon, who had complained about the impact of noise at the Raffles hotel on his neighbouring apartment.

Raffles Hotel noise complaint dismissed
The Raffles has taken steps to minimise noise. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

The Supreme Court has thrown out a claim by former mining executive Derek Ammon, who had complained about the impact of noise at the Raffles Hotel on his neighbouring apartment.

The case was between Mr Ammon and bar owner Colonial Leisure Group, represented by JDK Legal Services and Lavan respectively.

Mr Ammon, who was the founder of Perth-based exploration company Iron Ore Holdings, lives in one of the luxury apartments next to the Raffles bar and beer garden, and has claimed the loud music was affecting his health and comfort.

He had purchased the apartment in 2008 for $2.7 million, and said the noise only became an issue after a redevelopment of the venue in 2014.

Mr Ammon brought the case to court in 2017, and initially wanted Colonial Leisure Group to close the venue and pay damages, but later amended his claim, seeking an injunction thatincluded restrictions on the playing of music in the venue between certain hours during the week.

Master Craig Sanderson said Mr Ammon had recognised a number of measures put in place by the bar to reduce noise, but had continued to pursue the case on the grounds of it being a private nuisance.

In 2014 and the subsequent years, Colonial Leisure Group had upgraded the building to include double glazed windows and sealed doors, in an attempt to minimise noise output.

Despite expert advice suggesting that noise levels from the bar did in fact exceed regulations, Master Sanderson said this fact was not directly connected to Mr Ammon’s complaint.

He did not accept that the impact of noise interference on Mr Ammon was either substantial or unreasonable.

“The issue is the extent to which the noise emanating from the Raffles affects the plaintiff,” Masters Sanderson said.

“The fact that the noise is above levels permitted by the regulations is not necessarily determinative of the central issue in this case.”

He management of the Raffles bar had adjusted their business to take into account complaints about noise, and that Mr Ammon was aware of the operation of the bar when he purchased the property.

“Just as cricket players could not be expected to refrain from hitting sixes, the management of the Raffles cannot be expected to restrict the operation of a venue which is inconsistent with the orderly and proper use of that venue,” Master Sanderson said.

That is the case here and it is, in my view, a compelling reason against issuing an injunction.”

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