Restful nights just a memory

Residents of Frasers Rd, Dunedin,  Kirsty Beyer and Kerry Goodhew,  say the noise from the nearby...
Residents of Frasers Rd, Dunedin, Kirsty Beyer and Kerry Goodhew, say the noise from the nearby Ellis Fibre factory (pictured at rear) is keeping them awake at night. Photo: Peter McIntosh
Residents of a Kaikorai Valley road say they have had enough of  noise from a nearby factory  keeping them awake at night.

The Frasers Rd residents say noise from the Ellis Fibre factory got worse in August, becoming a  loud, nauseating  sound.

The problem led to the Dunedin City Council issuing an abatement notice last week.

Resident Kerry Goodhew said the problem started three months ago: "Just a quite incredible droning, pulsating noise was going through the day, and suddenly it was going all night as well."

He had lived on the property for 24 years, and  noise in the past was something he could live with.

Noise at night had started in the past few years, but was not as extreme as it had been since August.

"Then it was just absolutely incredible. Once you’re awake you can’t go back to sleep.

"The particular motor that’s generating most noise, it honestly sounded like it was coming apart."

He said he was not opposed to the factory, which had always impressed him as a business.

He had spoken to the company, which said changes had been made, but he had not been able to speak to the owner, who was overseas.

The Otago Daily Times was referred to the owner, who was in Denmark and did not respond to an email this week.

Another resident, Kirsty Beyer, also took action on the issue.

Ms Beyer, who had lived in the street for 17 years, said the noise was like "a constant humming with thumping".

"It sounds like a train on train tracks. It makes you feel nauseous."

She alerted the council and an email from the council in October to Mr Goodhew and Ms Beyer said an environmental health officer had "a number of meetings" with factory managers.

It said the company had been working with an air conditioning firm to install silencers on its exhaust fan units.

In the meantime, it had switched off one of its exhaust fans.

But residents were still disturbed by the noise.

An email this month from the council to Ms Beyer said it had been ascertained both fans had been running since the meetings, something the officer expressed "concern and disappointment" about.

On November 8, the council served the company with a noise abatement notice.

"A voluntary agreement had been entered into with the company which was not upheld last week and has caused concern," the officer told Ms Beyer by email.

The council told the Otago Daily Times it had been working with Ellis Fibre to resolve the noise issue.

"The company is planning to install new equipment to reduce noise levels and this is expected to be in place very soon," the council said in the email.

The abatement notice was still in place late this week.

Yesterday, Mr Goodhew said the pulsating aspect of the noise was gone, "but it’s still droning", and was still noisy at night.

"If they quit the night stuff, jeepers, we’d survive."

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