When planning development of a residential settlement one of the most important tests to do on the land is the acoustic survey. Generally spun over a 24 hour period the resultant sound levels will confirm whether any physical sound attenuation measures are necessary to protect potential occupants, either in their homes or in their gardens.
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) lays down the requirements that noise levels are measured in regards to:
The NPPF which came in to play in March 2012 was designed to make residential planning more streamlined and to lose some of the previous restrictions that faced developers. Although this is the case the noise surveys carried out still adhere to the regulations of the codes of practise from BS8233: 2014 Guidance on sound insulation and noise reduction for buildingsas well as other relevant guidance.
Clients engage Healthy Abode to undertake sound assessments upon land or sites for which planning consent is sought to allow residential development. Following either our three hour or twenty-four hour assessment a detailed report is generated confirming site layout, noise criteria, sound monitoring methodology, sound level results and any physical attenuation measures necessary to ensure that the development complies with the noise criteria and that occupants are suitably protected.
Once the local planning council are satisfied that the acoustic survey is complete and that sound levels, which would be heard from within the home once, it has been built on the proposed development are accurate. Then noise ceases to be a reason to restrict development, this is in line with the view of the NPPF.
In order for any proposal to be approved by the local planning authority (Council) the results and all relevant documents must be presented factually. It is for this reason that Healthy Abode’s reports ensure sound levels comply with the 1999 World Health Organisation’s Guidelines for Community Noise. Typically we also refer to the noise generated for a short period whilst homes are being generated we consider the 2009 Guidelines for noise and vibration control on construction and open sites and refer to suitable noise control measures.
Healthy Abode’s reports demonstrate that all requirements and legislation can be adhered to, therefore giving the planning application the best chance that the proposal will be accepted by the Local Planning Authority (Council) and allowed to start work at the earliest date. Should there be concerns over the findings of the report our acousticians are well placed to iron out any creases which have deemed the proposal unsuitable. This could include such things as commenting further on the area of the report or on further sound attenuation measures or greater details on those measures being detailed to allow the application not to be refused on the grounds of noise impact.