Noise? What noise?

Laneway venue Whitehart has received state government grant for an acoustic assessment to reduce noise, only a year after the City of Melbourne granted a planning permit denying nearby residents would be affected.

The Whitehart bar in White Hart Lane built from shipping containers received 25 objections from residents citing noise concerns when owner Stephen Johnson applied for a planning permit, but it was given approval by the City of Melbourne in August 2016.

Whitehart opens until 1am, seven days a week and can cater for 200 patrons.

At the time, council planners said the nearby Nova Apartments at 225 Elizabeth St were too far away to be considered affected by noise.

“Whilst objections have been received from residents of these apartments, the building does not immediately adjoin the subject site but is located approximately 27 metres to the south along White Hart Lane. Therefore, with reference to the policy above, it is not considered appropriate to define the surrounding area as ‘noise sensitive’,” the delegate’s report says.

However, Whitehart received $1900 in October as part of the Good Music Neighbours grant from the state government to undertake acoustic assessment to lower its noise emission.

Venue operator Stephen Johnson said complaints from residents did not trigger his application for the acoustic test grant.

“We are constantly trying to improve the venue in terms of how to better contain the sound. We applied for the grant because it seems fitting to get support for what we’ve always set out to do,” Mr Johnson said. “It’s just part of our process of making it the best venue it can be.”

The City of Melbourne did not admit Whitehart could create excessive noise for nearby residents and said it was a matter for the State Government to provide grants for venues to conduct acoustic assessments.

“The venue has a current planning approval in place. The City of Melbourne has received complaints in relation to noise and these are under investigation,” a council spokesperson said.

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