Residents fear noise from log yard expansion

Redevelopment would increase the log yard capacity from 9000 to 15,000 tonnes.

Redevelopment would increase the log yard capacity from 9000 to 15,000 tonnes.

RESIDENTS and business owners across Turanganui River from Eastland Port’s wharfside log yard fear its expansion will increase the noise from the Port’s 24-hour activities.

The comments came from submitters during a hearing this week on a resource consent application from Eastland Port to redevelop its wharfside log yard.

The redevelopment would increase the log yard capacity from 9000 to 15,000 tonnes, seal the work area, upgrade its wastewater discharge systems and provide an area for plant and vehicle maintenance.

If the log yard consent were to be granted, submitters requested an acoustic wall, similar to the one at the upper log yard, be installed.

Harbourview Apartments body incorporate chairman Ian Graham said ratepayers were expected to bear an “unfair burden of this forestry industry and harvest”.

The consent would push the industry further up the harbour and river, closer to local businesses, walkways and accommodation.

The apartments already received noise complaints from guests and they were also concerned about visual and dust issues.

“A wall of pre-cast concrete with art work would provide a scene that could look absolutely fantastic and involve community input,” Mr Graham said.

It could blend in with the environment and be “something the community could be proud of and a tourist feature.”

Pacific Harbour Motor Inn chairwoman Anne Gemmell was concerned about noise between 10pm and 7am, traffic from logging trucks, visual effects, and cultural and environmental impacts.

She also wanted a wall installed to mitigate against noise and dust.

Eastland Port logistics infrastructure manager Marty Bayley said the work they planned to do, including the smooth sealed surface, would reduce noise.

The port’s environmental noise consultant Malcolm Hunt said the concerned buildings were in an “amenity commercial zone” and had a higher acceptable noise level than residential zones.

The port would instigate a noise management plan and take specific measures to mitigate noise.

Provided windows were closed in the apartments, noise through the night would be acceptable even to residential zone standards, Mr Hunt said.

He was, however, not prepared for that to be made a requirement in the consent.

Ms Gemmell said Mr Hunt’s comments were not realistic. He had made assumptions on noise levels but had never visited the apartments, she said.

“It is disappointing to say the least,” she said.

As the amount of logs stored increased so would the noise.

“Are guests expected to keep their windows closed all night, even on a hot summer night?”

Guests’ sleep was already disturbed by work at the port, she said.

She was also concerned about logging trucks on Rakaiatane Road, and wanted further measures to make it safer.

“We have developed this area to appeal to tourists. It will all be affected by these developments.”

Gisborne District Council planning officer Sarah Hunter said while trucks could be “intimidating”, the footpath was safe and there was not much more they could do to improve it.

The log yard adds to the port’s upper log yard, with capacity for 11,000 tonnes, and southern log yard, with capacity for 64,000 tonnes.

There were 21 submissions on the consent application, with 15 in support, two neutral and four opposed.

The panel of independent commissioners will reach a decision on whether to grant the consents early next year.

RESIDENTS and business owners across Turanganui River from Eastland Port’s wharfside log yard fear its expansion will increase the noise from the Port’s 24-hour activities.

The comments came from submitters during a hearing this week on a resource consent application from Eastland Port to redevelop its wharfside log yard.

The redevelopment would increase the log yard capacity from 9000 to 15,000 tonnes, seal the work area, upgrade its wastewater discharge systems and provide an area for plant and vehicle maintenance.

If the log yard consent were to be granted, submitters requested an acoustic wall, similar to the one at the upper log yard, be installed.

Harbourview Apartments body incorporate chairman Ian Graham said ratepayers were expected to bear an “unfair burden of this forestry industry and harvest”.

The consent would push the industry further up the harbour and river, closer to local businesses, walkways and accommodation.

The apartments already received noise complaints from guests and they were also concerned about visual and dust issues.

“A wall of pre-cast concrete with art work would provide a scene that could look absolutely fantastic and involve community input,” Mr Graham said.

It could blend in with the environment and be “something the community could be proud of and a tourist feature.”

Pacific Harbour Motor Inn chairwoman Anne Gemmell was concerned about noise between 10pm and 7am, traffic from logging trucks, visual effects, and cultural and environmental impacts.

She also wanted a wall installed to mitigate against noise and dust.

Eastland Port logistics infrastructure manager Marty Bayley said the work they planned to do, including the smooth sealed surface, would reduce noise.

The port’s environmental noise consultant Malcolm Hunt said the concerned buildings were in an “amenity commercial zone” and had a higher acceptable noise level than residential zones.

The port would instigate a noise management plan and take specific measures to mitigate noise.

Provided windows were closed in the apartments, noise through the night would be acceptable even to residential zone standards, Mr Hunt said.

He was, however, not prepared for that to be made a requirement in the consent.

Ms Gemmell said Mr Hunt’s comments were not realistic. He had made assumptions on noise levels but had never visited the apartments, she said.

“It is disappointing to say the least,” she said.

As the amount of logs stored increased so would the noise.

“Are guests expected to keep their windows closed all night, even on a hot summer night?”

Guests’ sleep was already disturbed by work at the port, she said.

She was also concerned about logging trucks on Rakaiatane Road, and wanted further measures to make it safer.

“We have developed this area to appeal to tourists. It will all be affected by these developments.”

Gisborne District Council planning officer Sarah Hunter said while trucks could be “intimidating”, the footpath was safe and there was not much more they could do to improve it.

The log yard adds to the port’s upper log yard, with capacity for 11,000 tonnes, and southern log yard, with capacity for 64,000 tonnes.

There were 21 submissions on the consent application, with 15 in support, two neutral and four opposed.

The panel of independent commissioners will reach a decision on whether to grant the consents early next year.

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robinmc - 1 month ago
It's a bit like buying a place near Eden park and complaining about the noise, or the speedway at Western Springs. Did they miss the memo of the wall of wood?