A popular Braddon restaurant's application to have a neighbouring bar turn down its noise has been dismissed by the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
The Tipsy Bull restaurant launched a bid in January to have its Lonsdale Street neighbour, Hopscotch Bar, reduce its noise levels.
The tribunal found the noise from Hopscotch regularly exceeded permitted levels, but it did not have the jurisdiction to make a ruling on the matter, which had to be dealt with by regulatory authorities.
Senior tribunal member Heidi Robinson found an acoustic assessment prepared by Tipsy Bull was an "accurate" measurement, but she found there was "minimal evidence, direct or otherwise" that the noise had an impact on Tipsy Bull.
"I have no doubt that this position will be frustrating to the applicant. It may appear overly legalistic approach or even disingenuous," Ms Robinson wrote in her decision.
But she was not satisfied the elements of private nuisance were met in Tipsy Bull's application.
She noted the applicant could have put forward evidence that the noise affected employees or customers.
Ms Robinson wrote that even if she were satisfied it was a private nuisance, the nature of Braddon as an "active entertainment strip" where "perhaps even some noise above the statutory noise levels is likely inevitable" would need to be taken into account.
"The question is one of balance and reasonableness, and such an assessment cannot be made unless I understand what the effect of the noise is actually having on the applicant's business," Ms Robinson wrote.
The tribunal was not provided with evidence of the noise's impact by Tipsy Bull.
"In the circumstances, therefore, I am simply not satisfied that the elements of private nuisance are made out in this case. The application must be dismissed," Ms Robinson wrote in her decision.
Hopscotch director Kate Parkinson said the bar's team was happy with the result and wanted to move on with operating the business.
"It's beyond frustrating and, look, it's hard enough to run a business without having all these side issues to deal with," she said.
Ms Robinson said she wanted to get on with running her business and hoped it would be the end of the issue.
"Braddon's been very good to us and we love where we are, we've got fabulous relationships with all our other neighbours and landlord.
"We want to stay in Braddon and watch the town and thrive and be part of it," she said.
Tipsy Bull owner Joe Beltrame said he was frustrated with the tribunal process but the dispute was not over, with the acoustic assessment found to be reliable.
Lawyers representing Hopscotch had tried to cast doubt on the acoustic assessment, prepared by GUZ Box design + studio's Tim Kuschel.
The assessment had recorded "excessive" noise every night of the week in a two-week period.
Ms Robinson found the measurements were accurate and reliable.
Mr Beltrame said noise levels from Hopscotch had fallen since the tribunal hearings, but the music was still loud on Friday and Saturday nights.
He said the dispute had taken its toll on his business, with customers cancelling their bookings after hearing about the noise levels.
"We're implementing some data logging for sound over the next eight weeks, and if they breach the law we're going to go straight to the Magistrates Court," Mr Beltrame said.