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Planning and Noise

Planning for noise can be broken down into two areas: planning consent for a noise-generating development, where it has the potential to affect existing noise-sensitive premises or locations; and planning consent for a noise-sensitive development, which may be affected by noise from an existing noise-generating development.

Planning and Noise

Noise Generating Development

Wherever planning permission is required for a noise generating development, the Planning Authority (normally the relevant District or Borough Council or a Unitary Authority) will need to satisfy themselves that there will be no significant additional noise impact on surrounding noise sensitive locations (normally residential properties). The planning officer dealing with the application is required to consult the environmental health department, or similar, who deal with noise amongst other issues.

If no noise assessment has been carried out then an Environmental Health Officer may request further information, possibly a BS4142 survey. If a noise assessment has been carried out then this will be reviewed with possibly further information being requested. Our experienced acoustic consultants are able to assist with planning and noise issues including an initial ‘scoping’ report prior to a full application being submitted followed by background or baseline noise measurements and source noise predictions or measurements to fully inform the assessment.

If planning permission is granted it is likely to be accompanied by ‘conditions’ which mean that certain terms are placed on the development which have to be complied with. Conditions covering noise may include limits on the noise which can be produced or sometimes a noise plan to regulate noise through specified working practices. We can assist with measurements to demonstrate compliance with noise limits or with formulating a noise plan to agree with the Planning Authority.

For further information on both of these issues please contact our noise consultants with your requirements.

Noise Sensitive Development

Where new housing, or other noise sensitive development, is proposed near to an existing noise source, the Planning Authority will need to satisfy themselves that the potential inhabitants (in the case of housing) or other users, will not be unduly disturbed by noise. For the most part this consists of noise from transportation sources such as roads, railways and even airports but sometimes there may be concern about industrial and/or commercial noise including that from entertainment venues.

Noise affecting new noise sensitive development is covered by the Professional Practice Guidance on Planning and Noise. This advises that an initial noise risk assessment of the proposed development site should be conducted by a competent noise practitioner at the earliest opportunity, before any planning application is submitted. Reference can also be made to the Association of Noise Consultants Acoustics Ventilation and Overheating Guidance which is currently out for consultation.

Where a noise risk is identified, the preferred route for mitigation of noise is through changes in the design of the intended development. If this is not possible then a combination of noise reducing glazing and ventilation systems to allow future inhabitants to keep their windows closed will be required. The target in both cases will be to meet the recommendations on internal noise levels specified in BS8233, Guidance on sound insultation and noise reduction for buildings.

We can provide advice on design solutions and glazing/ventilation systems as required. Please contact us with your requirements.

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