Assessment of the impact of existing noise upon a proposed residential development
Residential planning applications focus on the existing level of noise to determine the site’s suitability for development. In general, the noise impact is assessed through monitoring at one or more locations around the development site to determine the typical daytime and night-time noise levels, which can then be assessed against relevant criteria (i.e. design guide values in BS 8233).
Specification of noise mitigation measures to be incorporated into the development design
In the event that a noise impact assessment finds that the existing noise levels exceed the design criteria, mitigation measures can be included into the development design. Excess noise in external areas can often be mitigated by the installation of appropriate acoustic screening (e.g. bunds, walls of fences), or by orientating garden areas such that they are shielded from the primary noise source. Internal noise levels can be reduced through installation of enhanced double-glazing or structural elements, or through the modification of internal room layouts, placing the most noise sensitive rooms away from the external noise source.
Assessment of the impact of noise emitted by a proposed development
The noise emitted by any proposed commercial or industrial development must be given due consideration in order to protect the local amenity (generally nearby residential properties). Noise of this type is generally assessed using BS 4142 for both planning and compliance purposes. For a planning application, this involves the comparison of the predicted noise (based on number, type and location of noisy activities) against the measured background noise level to determine the likely significance of effects.
The impact of noise due to construction of a proposed development
Noise and vibration from construction is predicted and assessed using BS 5228, which refers to the need for the protection against noise and vibration of persons living and working in the vicinity of construction sites. It recommends procedures for noise and vibration control in respect of construction operations, including the supervision, planning, preparation and execution of works. Methods for calculating the levels of noise resulting from construction activities are provided, in addition to noise control targets, and example criteria for the assessment of the significance of noise effects.