Resthome investigates noise complaints, cause remains a mystery
Retirement homes are known for quiet living but a mysterious noise in Kilbirnie has been blamed on the Rita Angus Retirement Village.
The resthome, Wellington City Council and Regional Public Health have spent hours investigating complaints of noise and vibrations but to no avail.
In May the council received two noise complaints from residents in two areas of Kilbirnie, both blaming the retirement village's electricity generator.
Council spokeswoman Victoria Barton-Chapple said one complainant lived at Yule St, about 80 metres from Rita Angus, and the other on Onepu Rd, 600m away.
The residents claimed the noise and vibrations were caused by a "mechanical plant" at the retirement village, Barton-Chapple said.
Earlier in the year, Rita Angus ran an emergency generator for about a week to ensure its back-up system was working and ready for an emergency, but they were no longer using it, she said.
Those who had complained said they knew of other Kilbirnie residents who were also affected.
"These complaints have been thoroughly investigated by us and Regional Public Health," she said.
"Our environmental noise officers have been to one complainant's property twice, and could not detect any vibrations when the occupant said they could."
The council did not have any other record of noise complaints relating to the retirement village in the last five years.
Letters were written to both the residents, stating the council could not assist with the issue any further, she said.
Regional Public Health had investigated the noise separately and reached the same conclusion.
Ryman Healthcare spokesman David King said the Rita Angus Retirement Village had received a complaint, and investigated.
"We were concerned for them, but our conclusion was that we did not think the noise or vibration was coming from our village. We have not had any complaints from any of our residents about noises or vibrations.
"Our village manager is also a neighbour, and he has not had any noise issues."
The back-up generator, in the basement of the village, was installed in June.
The generator was tested for 10 minutes once every two months, six times a year during daylight hours, Kiing said.
"The resident reported feeling vibrations over a seven week period – the generator was definitely not running during this time."
The Rita Angus Retirement Village had a number of residents who required hospital-level care, so continuity of power supply was important, he said.
The generator would start automatically if power was lost.
King said the generator was at the back of the carpark on a concrete slab, and was surrounded by three concrete walls.
King said there was a bus depot and a construction site in the vicinity of the Rita Angus Retirement Village, and he was unsure if they had been contacted about excess noise.