Neighbour wants to use suburban backyard as helipad

The proposed helicopter landing site which will be decided by council.
The proposed helicopter landing site which will be decided by council.

HOW would you feel if your neighbour starting using their backyard as a launch and landing pad for their new helicopter?

Neighbours on Woongarra Scenic Dr were mixed in their reaction when, unannounced, Peter Perry started using his home as a helipad and hangar.

But this was stopped when Mr Perry was issued with an alleged unlawful use of premises notice from the Bundaberg Regional Council.

Determined to keep using the chopper from his home, Mr Perry has now launched an official application with the council for a Material Change of Use for storage and operation for his Robinson R22 helicopter.

When the NewsMail spoke to neighbours in the area yesterday, some feared for safety concerns and loud noise while others saw it as an attraction for tourists and children.

Gary Bird is Mr Perry's closest neighbour and has himself been in aviation since 1989.

"I have absolutely no problem with it," he said.

"I think my lawn blower makes more noise and is more annoying to me."

Carmelita and Martin Payne live next door to Mr Perry's spare allotment and said they too were okay with it.

"They're really good neighbours, we have no problems about it," Mrs Payne said.

Terry O'Conner lives below the Payne's and said he too was fine with it.

"He's not coming and going every 10 minutes," he said.

"He's fine, there's nothing wrong with it.

"A lot of people like to watch him."

Lesley Bath lives behind Mr Perry's home and had just moved in, but said she wouldn't have a problem with it.

"Half their luck," she laughed.

Neil Richards lives across the road from Mr Perry and said he too had "no problem" with it.

"He's worked hard, he's earned what he's got and he deserves to use it," Mr Richards said.

But Barbara Hippisley, who lives behind Mr Perry couldn't disagree more and said she too had worked hard for her property and shouldn't have to live with the helicopter disturbance.

"We bought here to live in a quiet area," she said.

"If I wanted to live by the airport, I would have purchased there and quite cheaply too."

Mrs Hippisley said she was not the one who made the complaint to the council, but said she was definitely contemplating it.

"He was flying it quite a lot which we didn't particularly like," she said.

Now realising Mr Perry was applying for permanent use of the helicopter on the site, Mrs Hippisley said she wouldn't be so quiet.

"I might ring the council and tell them I don't like it," she said.

"This is a quiet residential area, not an airport.

"The noise is very loud; we'd rather listen to the ocean than a helicopter taking off."


Bargara divisional representative Greg Barnes said he had spoken to Mr Perry and attended his pre-lodgement meeting before his official application.

"We've given him some gut feeling on the likelihood of his success," Cr Barnes said.

In the notes from that meeting, the council manager of Development Assessment Richard Jenner advised Mr Perry, in his opinion the proposed aviation activity was inconsistent with the amenity of the area, and not a use that was expected in a residential area.

Despite this, Mr Perry has proceeded with his $3030 application to the council.

The council's planning and development spokesman Ross Sommerfeld said it was a "pretty strange" scenario.

"It's certainly not what you'd expect to see there," Cr Sommerfeld said.

Peter Perry was yesterday unable to be reached for comment.

Topics:  bundaberg regional council editors picks helicopter planning and development

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