A retired couple wants the Auckland Council to require a neighbouring childcare centre to erect a commercial acoustic fence to reduce noise.
Tony and Andy Mander say the Unsworth Heights childcare centre owners are trying to be good neighbours but a better fence is the only option.
But the couple says council rules won't allow a commercial fence in a residential area.
"We have grandchildren. We're not against young kids. We're just against them all day, every day, when they're not ours."
In summer they say they can't sit outside during the day and even in winter with the doors closed the noise disturbs them.
The couple has lived in their home since 1996 and objected when the centre was set up about four years ago.
They say the original owners should never have been given consent because of the proximity to their house.
New owners took over the existing centre in April and are trying to reduce noise but a fence and changed access is needed, the couple says.
Auckland Council spokeswoman Angela Jones says a 1.8 metre acoustic fence was part of the original consent and a higher one would require resource consent.
Ms Jones says the childcare owners are very co-operative and have reduced noise and are taking further measures.
The co-owner of Palms Pre-school, who did not want to be named, says they have spent a lot of money to reduce noise. She says a consultant told her a fence wouldn't help and council rules won't allow a higher one.
She says the childcare centre works hard to minimise noise and is changing its accessway but it's impossible to tell a child to be quiet when they're happy and excited. "We try to say use a quiet voice."
Among measures already taken is spending $500 to lay carpet outside on the deck, she says.
Ms Jones says childcare centres are commonly approved in residential areas if the council is satisfied they are acceptable in a given location. Tests show noise limits haven't been breached but the council's envirionmental health officer has worked with the centre to reduce noise, she says.
The new owners are very co-operative and noise readings in April indicated that the noise had reduced, she says.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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