Swim school not 'in right location'

SCHOOL VOTE: Alana Harber during a home-based swim lesson.
SCHOOL VOTE: Alana Harber during a home-based swim lesson. Alan Lander

A BID by a successful Noosaville swim school, operating in a quiet residential street, is expected to be left high and dry by Noosa Council after neighbour complaints.

Mayor Tony Wellington successfully moved on Monday at general committee to back a planning staff recommended refusal for the Swim2Me learn to swim home business run by Alana Harber.

Cr Wellington said one of the nearby families was concerned by the noise impacts on their severely autistic son.

"Residents, I believe, have a right to reasonable amenity in their own homes,” he said.

"Of some concern to me is that there's a family who have purchased a home in a cul-de-sac because they thought it would be a quiet place to raise their autistic child who unfortunately suffers from cystic fibrosis.

"This child has to wear sound-limiting headphones when at school.

"It seems to be that it would not be fair to insist that they then come home and find themselves subject to a school next door.”

Cr Wellington said the school has written that their non-verbal child's noise sensitivity can cause him physical pain.

He said council staff who have visited the houses of objectors and told him the swim school noise was "evidently audible and quite penetrating”.

"It's a crying shame that we can't support the application. This is simply a case of the right business in the wrong place,” Cr Wellington said.

Cr Joe Jurisevic, who opposed the refusal, said the swimming pool sounds would be considered noise but the "every day sounds of children in activity that you would expect to hear in a residential area”.

"A family of four could be living next door to a resident and make an equal amount of noise, if not a substantial amount of noise more than what you would have here,” he said.

Cr Jurisevic said with a sound-proof fence and other conditions, the sound issues could be managed.

Councillors at last night's ordinary meeting were expected to reject the school.

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