Planning Application for Extended Working Hours
East Grinstead, West Sussex
MTU UK Ltd is supplier of premium class diesel and gas engines and systems to the Marine, Power Generation and Rail markets and forms the core business of Rolls-Royce Power Systems, a division of Rolls-Royce plc. One of the activities they carry out at their premises in East Grinstead is the testing of such engines but they were restricted to their permitted operating hours of 08:00 and 17:00 on Monday to Friday with no testing permitted at the weekend. Because of increased demand for their services they needed to apply to Mid-Sussex District Council for permission to extend their operating hours to 22:00 on Monday to Friday and between 0900 and 1700 on Saturdays.
We were contacted by MTU-UK because, following the application which had been submitted to extend the hours, the Council had requested further information in the form of a noise impact assessment to take account of the extended hours so that this could be taken into account before any Planning decision was made. Because of a specific request from the Council to use the BS4142 noise assessment procedure, background noise measurements were carried out over a one-week period in November 2017 at the two nearest residential properties so that the existing noise level in the 1700-2200 weekday and 0900-1700 Saturday period could be determined. At the end of the survey, our acoustic consultants carried out measurements simultaneously at the test facility itself and at the two residential locations. This demonstrated that noise from the facility was not dominant at the nearest residential properties and, therefore, that rating levels (noise levels corrected for acoustic character) could not be determined through direct measurement. This result was therefore supplemented by predictions of noise, based on the measurements at the test facility, which were compared with the background noise levels for the extended hours proposed which demonstrated the lack of significant impact at those times.
The planning application for permission to operate the facility was supplemented by our noise assessment report and planning permission was granted in March 2018.