Forecast noise levels from the planned Woolworths supermarket in Springwood could spell the end of acoustic and semi-acoustic performances at The Hub, warn a group of musicians.
The Live at the Village group say the 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, next to The Hub should be rejected outright.
The group's response to the supermarket development application (DA) highlights concerns that the planned building would be only one metre away from the theatre, with a loading dock and ramp about 10 metres from the theatre stage and seating.
The group's vice president, Alex Gooding, said the noise from trucks using the dock, vehicles parking and other sources would disrupt most live performances.
"In particular, the levels of noise that will emanate from reversing trucks, including their reversing alarms, will be unacceptably high," Mr Gooding said.
"Unless these noise levels are substantially reduced, acoustic or semi-acoustic performances in the theatre simply won't be viable."
He said the DA's noise impact assessment report did not recognise the theatre's special needs.
"It seems to have been regarded as commercial premises, but the acceptable noise level under the relevant Australia/New Zealand standard of 63 decibels (dB(A)) for such premises is quite inappropriate for a theatre," he said.
Mr Gooding said it was like the Sydney Opera House having a loading dock built right next door.
"The maximum noise level should be 25 dB(A), which is the level recommended in the Australia/New Zealand standard for drama theatres and which has been used in similar developments elsewhere," Mr Gooding said.
He said the group had not adopted a position on whether or not there should be an additional supermarket in Springwood.
"However, we believe the DA fails to demonstrate that the proposal won't adversely affect the ability of audiences to enjoy our concerts, or other acoustic and semi-acoustic performances," Mr Gooding said.
The group's artistic director and president, Gary Daley, said it would be impossible for musicians to perform or for audiences to enjoy concerts with this level of noise.
"As a local resident I am appalled that a valuable community asset such as the $15 million Blue Mountains Theatre which is only five years old, could be turned into a community white elephant," he said.
"Given the substantial federal government and local investment in this wonderful and well-used venue and its intended operating life, it is clearly not in the public interest for this DA to be approved," Mr Daley said.
Angus White, the regional development manager for Woolworths, said they had met with Hub representatives and undertaken additional acoustic testing within the theatre and at the site over the past several months.
"We will continue to work with the Hub representatives as part of our development application process," he said.
"We have been made aware of the concerns raised by Live at the Village and have arranged to meet with members this week to discuss further."