Matthew Martin is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Lumbercube noise 'no worse' - council

Lumbercube. PHOTO/FILE
Lumbercube. PHOTO/FILE

Rotorua Lakes Council officials are telling eastside residents noise from the Lumbercube mill has not got any louder, even though some residents are saying it's the worst they have heard.

Councillors were updated on progress made in the last few days at a meeting of the council's strategy, policy and finance committee yesterday.

According to the council's chief operating officer Dave Foster, the council's noise expert revisited the Lumbercube site on Wednesday night, along with the mill company's acoustic consultant, and said progress to eliminate the noise was on track.

"There was agreement that the low frequency 'thump-thump' sound was to be the primary focus for new noise control measures they are investigating over the coming days," Mr Foster said.

Both consultants agreed Lumbercube were "not there yet" in terms of implementing the best option to eliminate noise issues.

But, the situation is not getting any better for residents affected by the noise.

The council received another 106 noise complaints overnight Wednesday and yesterday morning, with 1046 complaints made between April 9 and May 10.

According to the Eastside Residents Action Group Facebook page the issue is getting worse, people are still losing sleep and they are unhappy with the council's response.

"Yep, in for another sleepless night, another non-productive day for my employer due to lack of sleep, cheers lakes district council," one person posted.

"No way that what we're hearing tonight could possibly be compliant. Seems to be getting worse," another posted yesterday.

"Last night was shocking, finally phoned and complained at 3.47am. This is really a disgrace and sitting here being passive is not getting through to these nut-heads at the council," was another comment.

Another person said the noise was affecting her 5-year-old, who couldn't sleep because of the noise, that she also said was getting worse.

"Has been particularly bad the last two nights. Council are trying to ride this out so it becomes 'the norm' - unbelievable," another person said.

But, Mr Foster said testing proved the noise was no greater than at any other time.
"The mill and yard were in full operation. The sound levels were no higher than they have been, so they are no worse, according to our monitoring."

He said the council and Lumbercube were on target to meet promises made to residents that a noise mitigation plan would be finalised by May 31 and the plan would be implemented by July 21.

"The actual implementation time frames will be advised once practical design and construction issues are resolved, and when a suitable close down date is available to install the new works," Mr Foster said.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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