Multiple noise complaints to Tauranga City Council about excessive noise at Greerton Hall forced a rethink by Bay Venues over the use of the hall. Sandra Conchie reports.
• Noisy neighbours prompt thousands of complaints in Tauranga
• Big Read: Greerton divided over Tauranga begging and rough sleeping ban
• Rough sleepers and beggars causing issues in Greerton
• Feathered friends gather for show
A man who lodged dozens of noise complaints about Greerton Hall has softened his stance after authorities told some community groups they could no longer use the space.
Late last year Bay Venues, which operates the hall on behalf of owner Tauranga City Council, told three frequent user groups that use amplified music to find another venue.
They were two Zumba classes and a Sunday church group. The church group was later offered an alternative venue.
The council had received 86 noise complaints about the hall between 2017 and 2019 - including 82 made by the same person in two years, sparking a rethink of how the venue was being used.
But a Hayes Ave resident who has frequently complained about the noise said he never wanted the groups kicked out, only the noise turned down and council rules obeyed.
He met with Bay Venues staff this week hoping to find a positive solution.
Speaking to the Bay of Plenty Times on the condition he not be named, he confirmed he made multiple complaints, including 44 in one year, but said he was aware of at least one other resident who had also complained.
"My wife and I moved into the area at the end of 2013, but it wasn't until four and five years later that we started to complain when the noise became quite intrusive."
SH2 near Tauranga reopens after three-car crash, multiple injuries
Bay of Plenty showcase skills against Hawke's Bay
'Pantomime pōwhiri' nudges city's cultural tourism conversation
He said the noise was loudest when large groups used the hall during the week and on some weekends particularly when loud bass music went on for several hours at night.
"It was so loud at times it literally made our walls shake and there was nowhere in our house we could go to escape it," he said.
The man said he met with Bay Venues staff on Wednesday. He said it was very productive and he anticipated a "positive outcome" for the parties involved.
Bay Venues chief executive Gary Dawson said the meeting was productive but, given the Zumba groups' noise level was above the acceptable level, further discussions were needed before any changes were made.
He said a previous meeting was held with the man in December, at which the council agreed, as a compromise, to no longer accept bookings for weddings in the hall.
"The resident was well within his rights to complain and we had a direction from the council about having no excessively loud noise and amplified music at the hall."
The council had paid $5000 for a report from an acoustics expert.
Dawson said the recommended improvements would cost $650,000 to $700,000 with "no guarantee, it would make a significant difference".
The council would continue monitoring the situation, Dawson said.
"It's about getting the balance right between respecting the rights of neighbours and making sure various users can use the hall in line with the council's [noise control] rules."
Zumba Tauranga owners Carla and TeeJay Beazley ran two weekly Zumba classes at the hall for 10 years until their booking was cancelled.
Carla Beazley said they were put on notice early November by Bay Venues to reduce the noise level or stop using the hall.
"Two weeks later we were told we couldn't use the hall any more, despite having no complaints against us for some time, and we were only given a day's notice."
Beazley said they negotiated a week's grace and moved their Zumba class to the Merivale Action Centre temporarily but desperately needed to find somewhere else to go.
"We have 50 students and it will be a significant toll on our income if we cannot find anywhere else to hold our classes by the end of the month," she said.
The complainant said he would be happy to have Zumba Tauranga back at the hall but Bay Venues said noise issues needed further discussions.
Maria Miles, who had lived in Hayes Ave for 20 years, said the situation was "ridiculous".
"I have grown up in this house and I don't have a problem, apart for two instances, but I didn't complain.
"It's a community hall after all and it will get a bit noisy at times, but it's happy noises, such as clapping and cheering, not people yelling and lashing out at each other."