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Design & Planning

Planning applications have well defined noise criterion as a result of existing noise impacting on a proposed site or the proposed development impacting on existing units. The Noise Policy Statement for England (NPSE), published in 2010 sets out the Government noise policy. The Noise Policy aims, as presented in this document, are: “Through the effective management and control of environmental, neighbour and neighbourhood noise within the context of Government policy on sustainable development


The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was published in 2012. The NPPF states that the planning system should contribute to and enhance the natural and local environment by preventing both new and existing development from contributing to or being put at unacceptable risk from, or being adversely affected by unacceptable levels of soil, water or noise pollution or land stability. Noise impact assessments are often required for developers as part of their planning application submission. The assessments can also form part of Environmental Impact Assessments for larger scale developments. Noise assessments can be required as part of planning applications for; proposals for housing developments, mixed use developments, commercial, industrial and infrastructure projects. A noise assessment is often used to show the effect of existing noise levels on a proposed development, or the effect of the proposed development on noise levels. Planning applications often have to be supported by a noise assessment.

Noise assessments can also be used to fulfil conditions of a planning consent and be undertaken after planning permission has been granted by the Local Authority.  Measurement of existing noise levels at and around the development site. Prediction of noise impacting upon the proposed development Prediction of noise impacting on the existing area as a result of a new development Predictions can be undertaken by; calculations and computer noise modelling of the development. Noise mitigation measures may be necessary element of the noise assessment and the assessment may specify noise mitigation measures either to protect the development from existing noise or to protect existing areas from a new noise sources in line with:

  • Noise Policy Statement for England

  • Planning Practice Guidance – Noise

  • BS8233 Guidance on Sound Insulation and Noise Reduction for Buildings & The WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines

  • BS4142 Methods for rating and assessing industrial and commercial noise.

We can undertake the full acoustic impact assessments for planning which consider the suitability of the site for residential development in terms of noise. An environmental noise survey will often be required to establish the existing noise levels across the site, in order to provide design advice on the layout of the development to locate noise sensitive spaces away the existing significant sources, i.e. nearby roads or industrial sites. Consideration will also be taken on the operational impacts of the development on the existing surrounding noise sensitive receptors, i.e. increased traffic flows on the local roads or new plant items associated with the development.  Based on the external noise levels at the site, advice will be given on the recommended sound insulation performance of individual elements of the proposed external façade, in order to achieve the required internal noise levels. Consideration will also be given to any building services plant items serving the habitable spaces, to ensure that fan noise from these items to not exceed the required internal noise levels.

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