About frost fans
Given the amount of horticulture in the Western Bay of Plenty District, Council has developed rules and provisions within the District Plan for frost protection fans. Current rules apply to both fixed and portable frost protection fans and, in most cases, an application for resource consent will be required prior to establishing the fan.
District Plan Provisions
The main environmental issue for frost protection fans is noise. This is given that frost fans will exceed the normal District Plan noise requirements. Section 4C (Amenity) of the District Plan contains the rules that relate to frost fans.
Frost fans are permitted (you will not need resource consent) if it meets the performance standards of the relevant zone. In the rural zone the noise standard is:
|Time Period||Sound Level Not to be Exceeded|
|Monday to Saturday||7am to 10pm||50dBA||N/A|
|Sunday||7am to 6pm||50dBA||N/A|
|Public holidays and all other times||40dBA||65dBA|
If the noise of the frost fan is more than the above limits when measured then you will need to obtain resource consent for the activity.
As a controlled activity you are able to have a frost protection fan that meets the following standards:
- The noise levels measured within the notional boundary of any dwelling within the rural zone will not exceed 55dBA Leq and 65 dBA Lmax (the supplier of your frost protection fan should be able to provide you with technical information regarding noise levels that you will need to provide to Council when making an application.)
- The fan can operate when the air at trellis height drops to 2C or below, and is required to stop again when the rising temperature at trellis height reaches 4C.
- The overall height of the frost fan including the fan blade should not exceed 15m.
Resource Consent Information
If you do need to obtain resource consent for a frost fan, here are some useful steps to start the consent process.
Prior to making an application you should contact Council so we can provide a plan showing the names and addresses of all owners and occupiers you will need to obtain written consent from. Dwellings from the same lot as the frost fan are excluded from having to meet these noise limits.
In order to identify who you'll need to obtain written consent from, you will need to provide Council with a plan of your property, clearly showing the location of the proposed frost fan and distance to the boundaries. A plan should also identify distance to shelterbelts or any other structures that might buffer or affect noise or sight to or from the fan.
You will need to provide the details of the make and model of the machine. A manufacturer's technical report should be provided which gives details on the type of fan, height, level or noise emitted and the operating rate of engine speed in RPM. If you're looking to put more than one frost fan on the same property, the technical report should include the cumulative effects of noise.
You will also be able to pick up an application form for frost fans which will tell you the relevant information you are to provide and the cost of the application.
When all owners and occupiers are identified in Step 1, Council can provide forms for you to use to obtain neighbours consent. When you obtain the neighbours consents you should ensure they initial a copy of the site plan showing the location of their property and the proposed location of the frost protection fan.
You can then submit the application to Council and if all the neighbours' consents have been provided and the application details are sufficient, your application should be granted within 10-20 working days.
Council's application form and related information on our website provides general details on information that should be included within the application.
To help Council staff understand your proposal specifically, you should provide details on:
- Hours of operation - Provide a description of how the operation of the fan during expected hours of operation is to be monitored and supervised to ensure that no unnecessary use occurs, and in particular advise whether there will be a consent holder or manager living on the site.
- Operation of frost fan - What are the intended months of operation and how many days per year will the machine likely operate, e.g. 3 - 7 days
- Location of frost fan - Along with the plan showing the location of the frost fan a description of the area in general should also be included.
- Other alternatives - Why other alternatives like helicopters, water, irrigation, smokepots and different position of wind machines are not considered suitable for the site.
- Height - IF the frost fan is over 15 metres in height resource consent will be required for this as well. A description of any resulting effects on other persons relating to views, character or the landscape.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if you have more than one machine?
For larger orchards Council is able to process an application for two machines on the same property.
Depending on the make and model of the machines, Council should be able to advise the extent of neighbour consents to be provided. In most cases providing the consents within 600m from each of the machines will be sufficient, however this will depend on the operating levels and types of machines proposed.
What if neighbours do not give consent?
In this case you will need to go through a notification process. Neighbours who have not given consent can make submissions to the application. This process will take more time and is more costly as a period of 20 working days is provided for people to make a submission. If there are only a few neighbours who are unwilling to give consent, Council will typically try and see whether any outstanding issues can be resolved. If not, then both the applicant and any submitters are able to make their case to the Regulatory Hearings Committee who will decide whether or not a consent for the machine will be granted. Any decision made by the Committee may be appealed to the Environment Court.
How much does it cost?
An application fee is payable, please refer to the resource consent fees and charges webpage.
Does anyone monitor our resource consent?
Council monitors all resource consents to ensure that the fans have been set at correct operating levels. If complaints are received, Council's monitoring staff will investigate the complaint to find out whether there is any non-compliance with the consent conditions and noise levels. Additional monitoring and compliance charges will apply in non-compliance situations.
Please contact Council's duty planner via our Duty Planner service if you would like further information or refer to information in the District Plan and application form.
This information has been produced to assist you in understanding planning rules and procedures. It does not contain all District Plan or statutory requirements.