A noise assessment may be required when a new industrial activity, or change to existing activities, is proposed and where this could have noise and/or vibration effects on nearby residential properties.
Noise assessments for this purpose are usually carried out according to BS 4142:2014, Methods for rating and assessing industrial and commercial sound, where the background noise levels are compared with noise levels arising from the proposed activities. Predictions can be undertaken using noise data for operating plant supplied by manufacturers or by directly measuring the noise arising from the activities. The noise levels arising from the application, when adjusted for any character penalties that apply (such as for tonal or impulsive noise), are compared with the background noise levels to determine the significance of the impact on neighbours. Planning authorities often have their own policies regarding this type of noise and it is always important to liaise with the relevant department to ensure any local factors are considered.
Where vibration effects may affect neighbours, guidance in BS 6472:2008, Guide to evaluation of human exposure to vibration in buildings, defines vibration dose values which might give rise to complaint, and predictions or measurements can be compared with these values to define the likely significance of any vibration arising.
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