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The main objective during any planning application is a smooth and quick completion, so that the project programme can commence without delays.

We can assist in every stage of a planning application with master planning for all types of developments, by providing targeted and expert acoustic consultancy services, ranging from pre-application meetings with the Client, or the Local Planning Authority to representation as Expert Witness.

Our range of services related to planning and noise includes:

Noise Surveys

Vibration Surveys

Noise assessment

A noise assessment is an examination of the nature and characteristics of a noise. It may involve verifying aural factors such as: • the location of the noise source • its audibility at certain locations • the time the noise is made and its duration • its characteristics • the reported effect it has on people. A noise assessment may require measurement of the noise level and its physical characteristics. Noise assessments are important in situations where the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (the POEO Act) and the Protection of the Environment Operations (Noise Control) Regulation 2008 (the Noise Control Regulation) are being applied. Depending on the circumstances, the Noise ControlRegulation may require an assessment of a noise’s audibility, time of occurrence, duration or offensiveness.

Noise Control

Noise control is an active or passive means of reducing sound emissions, often incentivised by personal comfort, environmental considerations or legal compliance. Practical and efficient noise controlis wholly reliant on an accurate diagnosis of what is causing the noise, which first involves finding the source of noise. Once the source of noise has been found, the focus is reducing the noise at source by engineering means.

Vibration Control

Noise Impact Assessment

Application proposals that raise issues of disturbance or are considered to be a noise sensitive development in what are considered to be noise sensitive areas should be supported by a Noise Impact Assessment prepared by a suitably qualified acoustician. In some cases a noise assessment may be required for domestic wind turbines. Further guidance is contained in PPG 24 “Planning and Noise” (September 1994). Application proposals that raise specific issues regarding vibration should be supported by a Vibration Impact Assessment prepared by a suitably qualified acoustician. Further guidance is available in BS6472: 1992, which deals with human response to vibration in buildings; BS5228: Part IV 1992, which deals with construction vibration; and BS7385: Part 2 1993 which deals with buildings.

Pre contraction noise assessment

During the planning stage of a development, it is always necessary to assess a proposed site in accordance with National Planning Policy Framework requirements. For this reason, a noise survey would be necessary, enabling the categorisation of the site into a Noise Exposure Category (NEC). The noise survey would be organised in such a way so that it can encompass the simultaneous investigation of all possible noise sources (noise from road traffic, rail traffic, air traffic or a combination of noise sources). Its duration would be 24hrs, however longer noise monitoring periods can be undertaken should it be required, in order to obtain a better statistical sample of the noise profile around the proposed development site. A vibration surveywould also be undertaken should the site be close to a railway line, or any other source of vibration.

Noise assessment  

Noise Impact Assessment is required by a Local Authority in order to ensure that noise emissions either from fixed plant units (e.g. air-conditioning, extract fans, AHUs), or from a specific indoor or outdoor operation (e.g. religious service, dance schools, live music venues, restaurants, pubs, nightclubs, concerts, outdoor sporting or industrial operations) will not be intrusive and cause noise nuisance to the closest noise-sensitive receivers. The first step of a Noise Impact Assessment is an environmental noise survey. This enables the appraisal of the background noise profile of the area under investigation. The noise survey should ideally be undertaken at the closest noise-sensitive receiver in order to take an accurate acoustic snapshot of the location which would be affected by the noise source. The results of the environmental noise survey would assist in setting a noise-emissions criterion. This is usually set by means of the minimum background noise measured during the course of the noise survey and is used to set maximum allowable noise emissions from the noise source under investigation