Christchurch City Council noise control staff received four complaints between 4.14 a.m. and 5.40 a.m. Tuesday about construction work at a Mike Greer Homes townhouse development on Harewood Rd, prompting the company building organization to apologize.
“There was construction noise and guys shouting at each other right over the back fence of my bedroom,” said Carol Barron, a resident of St James Ave.
“I have a reputation for being able to sleep through a concert, but it was really loud.”
City council staff recorded 87 construction noise complaints from June 1 to July 31 this year, 65 of which related to residential construction.
The data follows figures from Stats NZ, which reveal that there were 8,556 residential units made available in Canterbury for the year to July 2022, an increase of 26% on the previous 12 months.
The Harewood Rd development, which comprises 33 units, had only prompted a complaint on Tuesday.
Barron filed the first complaint received by the city council and was annoyed that work was not halted after noise control officers issued an excessive noise instruction (END) at 4:27 a.m.
“I called noise control three times, I was just amazed it wouldn’t stop,” she said.
The city council confirmed that the NDE had been served on Mike Greer Commercial, but workers told the noise control officer that the flow of concrete could not be stopped once the process began.
“That’s probably true, but it’s bull****. It means they can break all the rules,” said Barron, who was too exhausted to go to work later in the day.
The NDE remains in place for up to 72 hours and if further complaints are received within that time and the noise is found to be excessive, a noise control officer and police will enter the property and remove the source of the noise.
No further complaints were made about the development of Harewood Rd before the deadline for this edition of The Star.
Barron also contacted Mike Greer Commercial, who told him that the contractors did not have permission to start work so soon.
“There were no permits in place and it was well outside of reasonable working hours,” construction manager Dave Campbell said.
“It’s not uncommon for concrete pours to start around 6:00 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. We had not been informed that it was raining at that time and I assure you that it will not happen again.
Barron, who slept soundly until yesterday morning, appreciated the apology and said she had no problem with construction starting at around 6.30am.
“They are usually very good at keeping neighbors informed. Maybe the concrete guys made a unilateral decision, it was outrageous,” she said.
The development’s resource consent did not specify when work can be carried out, but under the district plan, noise levels were restrictive from 8 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. Noise standards were quite permissive from 7:30am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday.
It was not uncommon for conditions governing the hours of construction to be performed not to be included in a resource consent.
“Sometimes conditions relating to building activities are included, although building activities are still required to comply with the noise standards of the district plan,” said the head of planning and consents of the city council, John Higgins.