Bread Factory has Two Months to Quieten Down

A relief for residents, but far from over, an Upper Hutt food factory that has been breaking the law with noisy bread-making keeping neighbours awake at night, has been told it has two months to fix the problem.

Residents in Silverstream have been in an almost two-year battle to get Farrah’s flatbread factory to stop breaching the district plan and Resource Management Act.

“At every stage of this process Farrah’s have caused delays or been granted extensions, meanwhile every additional day without mitigation is another day that residents have to suffer,” resident Logan McLean said.

In a decision released by independent commissioner Robert Schofield, Farrah’s was told it could have resource consent, but must bring down the noise emitted by filling its flour silo by 10 decibels within the next fortnight, and have permanent fixes in place by mid-February. Any other factory noise must comply with district plan noise limits by April 1, 2022.

Repeated tests by noise consultants found both the “incessant droning”, buzzing or humming and silo-filling sounds breached both the Upper Hutt City Council’s district plan and the Resource Management Act (RMA). There have been 302 complaints to the council about the noise from the factory.

In his decision, Schofield said there was no reason why Farrah’s could not comply with the noise standards.

“The sources and nature of the noise emissions are such that they can be remedied, and, based on the expert evidence provided, there are feasible solutions that can be implemented within a short timeframe.” 

Farrah’s owner Jovan Čanak said the company remained “relentlessly committed to addressing the noise issues” and a permanent solution was in progress.

“The noise from the flour silo filling has been temporarily mitigated further and has already achieved more than the required reduction. All other issues raised in the consent are well on track to be resolved ahead of the Commissioner’s deadlines.”

Noise from the factory’s unconsented flour silo had recently been registering at 58 decibels (dBA) – 8dBA above what’s permitted by the council during daytime hours.

The new consent also requires Farrah’s to start engaging with residents no later than December 29, 2021. McLean said residents were still waiting for any communication from the company, despite Farrah’s stating publicly it would start to meet with residents to work towards a resolution.