Vineyard must monitor frost fans

SONIA BEAL
Last updated 06:54 29/01/2014

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A Wairau Valley vineyard owner has received resource consent to operate 23 frost fans on his vineyard as long as he monitors the fans' use in the interests of neighbouring residents.

Bruce Forlong, of Tirosh Estate Ltd, applied for resource consents for the frost fans in his vineyard, 10 kilometres inland from Wairau Valley township, at a hearing on November 22.

Marlborough District Council commissioner John Maassen approved the decision for the application last week, outlining conditions including that they be electronically monitoring.

"It is essential proper monitoring and ‘real time' data sets are available in this locality," he said.

In 2009, council amended the Wairau/Awatere Resource Management Plan to regulate the use of frost fans in those areas because of long-standing concern about the impact of the fans on rural residential neighbours.

Opposition to the application came from five of the nine submitters, neighbouring the property.

Their opposition was based on the noise of the frost fans, which disrupted residents' sleep.

The fans also operated much longer than permitted, the submitters said, and there wasn't enough recording for their frequency and duration.

Anecdotal evidence suggested there were management problems around the running times of frost fans in nearby vineyards.

Conditions for operating the frost fans on Tirosh Estate include noise monitoring by a qualified acoustic engineer and an online monitoring to record the engine and wind speed and temperature of each fan.

The frost fans had to measure wind speed and automatically shut down when speeds exceeded 8kmh.

They could start only when the air temperature dropped to 1 degree Celsius or below, and had to shut down when the temperature reached 2C.

The noise level inside neighbouring properties when all doors and windows are closed could not exceed 35 decibels (dB).

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- The Marlborough Express

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