25 Aug 2009

New noise limits for vineyard frost machines

12:48 pm on 25 August 2009

Grape growers in Marlborough will have to meet tougher standards on frost fan noise because of a plan change adopted by the district council on Monday.

It means that frost machines will become a controlled, rather than a permitted activity under the Resource Management Act and will have to meet World Health Organisation standards.

Marlborough has about 1200 frost fans, although the district council believes only a few are causing problems to neighbours living close to vineyards.

The new rules will lower the allowable noise level from 60 to 55 decibels at a distance of 300 metres from the machines.

The noise inside a vineyard neighbour's house can be no louder than 30 decibels.

The new noise rules are expected to be adopted by the full council next month and to be in force in time for late spring frosts in October and November.