Neighbours lash out at builders

JACKHAMMERS at 3am, tile saws at 2am and grinders at 4am.  

David Quinn and his neighbours say they are being driven mad by 23-hour-a-day noise from construction of the expanded Centro Toormina shopping centre and their complaints are being ignored.

The Wirrabilla Drive resident, who has been asked to be a spokesman for a group of neighbours living close to the development, said builders Mainbrace Constructions were totally thumbing their noses at the conditions of approval imposed by Coffs Harbour City Council.

"It is obvious they under-estimated the time needed to do the job and had to catch up," he said.

"You don't employ a night-time supervisor unless you are working at night."

Council's conditions of approval restrict the builders at Centro to working between 7am and 6pm on weekdays and 8am to 1pm on Saturday, with no work allowed on Sunday.

Mr Quinn says work had continued 23 hours a day for the three weeks leading up to the long weekend, with jackhammers, tile cutting saws and loud grinders being used in the small hours of the morning.
He said Wirrabilla Drive residents had complained to Coffs Harbour City Council "practically every day" during those three weeks and had been told that the builders were not allowed to work through the night but the noise had continued.

He said his most recent contact with council had been last Friday, after he had been woken by a jackhammer at 2.45am on Friday morning and a staff member from council's planning department had said he would contact police.

Mr Quinn said he himself had been forced to contact police on about a dozen occasions and they had been very helpful in speaking to the builders.

A spokeswoman for Coffs Harbour City Council said the project manager for the Centro development had made a commitment on Friday that all the people working on the site would be spoken to and that the conditions of the development application would be reinforced.

The neighbours have also contacted the Ombudsman, who has suggested that they take out a Noise Abatement Order if the problem is not solved.

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