Matthew Martin is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Noise complaints doubled

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Complaints about the noise coming from Lumbercube mill have doubled since September. Photo / Stephen Parker
Complaints about the noise coming from Lumbercube mill have doubled since September. Photo / Stephen Parker

Noise complaints against the Lumbercube mill have more than doubled from a month ago and a new Facebook group has been set up by Eastside residents unhappy with the noise.

As the action group prepares to present its concerns to the deputy mayor, the company that owns the Vaughan Rd mill says that in the past few months it has spent an extra $1.5 million on sound control measures.

Lumbercube began operation in late September when Rotorua-based Pedersen Group bought the site after Tachikawa went into receivership in October 2013.

As of yesterday, Rotorua Lakes Council has received a total of 420 noise complaints, a number boosted after a leaflet drop on the weekend urged people to call the council if they were concerned about the noise.

Members of the Facebook group - the Eastside Residents Action Group - were seen delivering leaflets to Eastside residents on the weekend.

A statement on their page said they were "a group promoting the interests and wellbeing of residents on Rotorua's Eastside".

Pedersen Group chief operating officer Gavin Hudson told the Rotorua Daily Post yesterday Lumbercube was fully aware there were noise concerns, but noise abatement couldn't be fully addressed until the mill was up and running.

"In the past few months we committed an extra $1.5 million to sound-control measures, and we're working closely with council to make sure what we're doing is meeting all the requirements of our resource consent."

Mr Hudson believed any short-term inconvenience was far outweighed by long-term economic benefit to the region.

The acoustic work being implemented was to a schedule of work agreed with the council and was expected to be completed by early March, weather permitting, he said.

Rotorua deputy mayor and Lynmore resident Dave Donaldson said he and council staff were meeting with Eastside Residents Action Group members tonight.

"The meeting is a great opportunity for those people impacted during the mill's commissioning phase to spell out their concerns and understand that council is happy that they are compliant with all of the terms under their resource consent, before the mill goes into full production. There are always going to be growing pains but we hope this can address some of their concerns."

The council's compliance solutions manager, Neven Hill, said council staff continued to work closely with Lumbercube.

"[We] have gone back to some of those who complained before Christmas from the Carroll Pl, Kipling Cres area, and the noise levels have improved since February 7 when shed 1 [at Lumbercube] was completed. They say the second shed will be finished, weather permitting, by the first week of March."

An Eastside Residents Action Group Facebook page administrator said the group was not prepared to not comment until they had more information.

Lumbercube noise complaints:

* 137 complaints late September to December 5

* 39 complaints December 6 to January 13

* 244 complaints January 14 to February 14

- Rotorua Daily Post

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