Victoria Park: Neighborhood feud erupts over the sound of basketballs bouncing on local courts

Neighborhood feud breaks out over the sound of basketballs bouncing on a court across from residential homes – but do the homeowners have a right to be annoyed?

  • Neighborhood feud erupts over sounds of balls bouncing on basketball court
  • One resident complained that he listened to repetitive noise ‘seven hours a day’
  • Locals in Victoria Park in inner city Perth claim children are allowed to play
  • Deputy mayor reassures residents that the municipality is investigating the sounds

A Perth town is divided over the sound of basketballs emanating from a local court, with a frustrated resident claiming he listens to the balls “seven hours a day.”

Victoria Park’s inner city council has come under fire over noises emanating from two basketball courts in a busy Laithlain Zone 2X, a popular park that was part of a $3 million upgrade in December 2019.

While the upgrade was originally a very popular decision, it wasn’t long before disgruntled local residents took offense at the repeated thump of basketballs hitting the hoops backboards and multiple noise complaints were filed.

An acoustic engineer’s report found that the noise in question exceeded the criteria for daytime assigned noise level by 20 dB, according to the standards set by the Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997.

A Perth town is divided over the sound of basketballs emanating from a local courthouse (pictured) and a frustrated resident claims he listens to the balls bounce ‘seven hours a day’

The offending hoops were removed from the basketball courts and the municipality closed the popular facilities for nearly a year. PerthNow reported.

Two different sound-accentuating signs have been tried in an effort to reduce the nuisance noise, with the council now filing a new complaint.

Disgruntled residents are now outraged at the sound of basketballs hitting the surface of the concrete and steel courts.

A frustrated homeowner who had supported the upgrade when it was first put in said he now had doubts about the location of the dog park and basketball courts directly across from the residential area.

“The council has placed the two noisiest facilities across from houses rather than near the West Coast Eagles training ground,” he said.

“When I work from home, I listen to basketball seven hours a day until well into the evening.”

Deputy Mayor Bronwyn reassured residents that the city was currently awaiting results that would determine whether the sound of the basketballs was unreasonable.

A frustrated local has questioned the location of the dog park and basketball courts directly across from rows of houses, saying he listens to the balls

A frustrated local has questioned the location of the dog park and basketball courts directly across from rows of houses, saying he listens to the balls “seven hours a day.”

However, Natureplay WA CEO Griffin Longley urged disgruntled residents to be more tolerant of the sounds of children playing by reflecting on their own childhoods.

He said locals are “trying to hear the joy” in the noise in an effort to show some “care and concern for the health” of their close-knit community.

Poll

Do you think the locals have a right to be annoyed?

Mr Longley reminded fed up locals that children have the right to play under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, but said he understood the issue.

“I think it’s important to take residents’ complaints seriously and investigate them to determine if there is a real problem and if so, to make changes, such as installing noise-dampening signs,” he said.

The CEO said adults in the active Victoria Park community have a collective responsibility to give children the space and freedom to play.

“Not only does it help build happier, healthier children and communities, but it also helps reduce costs to the community from poor health and antisocial behavior,” he said.

Deputy Mayor Bronwyn reassured residents that the city was currently awaiting results that would determine whether the sound of the basketballs was unreasonable

Deputy Mayor Bronwyn reassured residents that the city was currently awaiting results that would determine whether the sound of the basketballs was unreasonable

Divided residents took to social media to continue the neighborhood feud.

‘Perhaps the municipality can give discounts on double glazing or sound insulation. Noise restrictions are in effect for a reason. It doesn’t matter what causes the noise,” one woman wrote.

Another resident said he lived across from a park and enjoyed the sounds coming from the constant bustle of city life.

‘This is downtown. It’s alive. With cars, planes, trains and people,” he wrote.

‘Some applications will mislead us. I understand. But the public open space and its countless uses do not move.’

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