Truck noise could infiltrate concerts at the Blue Mountains premier music venue if a supermarket next door is given the go-ahead, say concerned users of The Hub in Springwood.
Woolworths proposal for a supermarket, one independent specialty store and more than 200 car parking spaces on the vacant, former IGA site on the corner of Raymond and David Roads, has some Hub users concerned.
Details released on the project website show all store deliveries and waste collection would take place via Macquarie Road, and proposed car access to the supermarket would be via David Road.
Some of the users of the Hub are concerned the delivery trucks will be entering via a narrow laneway off Macquarie Road, which runs alongside The Hub, to a loading dock next to the Hub, where they will either have to do a three-point turn next to The Hub's stage door to turn around, or reverse back down the laneway to return to Macquarie Road. All the while, engine noise and reversing beeps will be heard inside the Hub.
Art collective Live at the Village hold six concerts at The Hub every year. Many of their committee members are musicians who also perform at The Hub.
"What we have is one of the finest performing venues for music in Sydney. It's a huge asset to the Blue Mountains, Springwood and musicians and theatre people living and working in the Mountains. It's a major resource to use to develop the arts and drawing artists from Sydney and further afield," said Live at the Village committee member Mara Kiek.
"The bottom line is, that's the end of acoustic concerts in the Blue Mountains."
"The venue is sought after ... it has a reputation around the country for hosting jazz, acoustic and fine arts. Woolworths are shutting the coffin lid and nailing it down for us."
The group's artistic director, Gary Daley said they understood Woolworths had done audio testing of external noise within The Hub, and it exceeded allowable limits.
"If it had come in under the legal limit, then fine. If not, then they are riding roughshod over the arts community," he said.
The group are planning to hold a full day multi-genre festival at The Hub next year, and said this was now in jeopardy.
Blue Mountains Orchestra is also concerned about the delivery truck noise.
"Our concerts are an orchestra - there is no amplified music so we need a fairly quiet environment," said the group's president Christian Dupressoir.
"It's more paramount that the noise level is low, otherwise the noise will be a real distraction. If you can hear the traffic it would be an impediment."
The Blue Mountains Concert Society also uses the venue, and president Phillip Huthnance said: "It will cause a bit of a problem every now and again, depending when the trucks are arriving."
He was hopeful deliveries could be organised when events weren't happening at The Hub, and that a soundproofing barrier could be installed between the laneway and The Hub.
Woolworths regional development manager Angus White said their building would be "carefully designed to ensure our operations aren't impacting theatre events."
"We have met with representatives from the Hub to listen to their concerns and have now completed detailed acoustic testing at the site," he said.
"While this testing shows noise from our operations would not exceed allowable limits, we have offered to work with the Hub to further address any concerns they may have."
Paul Brinkman, the manager of arts and cultural services at council, which includes The Hub and Cultural Centre, said they would work with the developer to address any noise concerns.
"We've been contacted by the developers to talk through sound issues and look forward to working with them to mitigate any effects on the theatre space," he said.
Meanwhile in Penrith, plans to expand a corner of Westfield to include a licensed tavern were initially knocked back on multiple grounds, including the negative acoustic impacts on the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre. The expansion was only approved after the tavern was excluded and the retail space area reduced.