Noise Surveys for New Developments

By: Anthony Harris

A noise survey and report should be submitted during the pre-application process and discussions on planning applications. In many circumstances a planning condition will stipulate that a noise survey will need to be undertaken.

Noise surveys are normally carried out prior to completion, however the local authority may also require post a BS 8182 noise level survey to prove that the noise standards have been achieved within the living rooms and bedrooms.

The following information will usually need to be included within the noise survey report.

1. The reason and scope of the report.
2. Location plan of the proposed development and likely receptor points such as the nearest residential window/s.
3. The noise survey Methodology including the noise monitoring location, the equipment used and the weather conditions during the noise survey.
4. Reasons for deviations from standard methods.
5. Full table of results.
6. A comparison of survey results against the noise standards.
7. Recommendations for noise control measures – acoustic barriers etc.
8. Full calculations against noise reductions expected to support any suggested noise control measures.

When is a noise survey and PPG24 report required?
A noise survey and PPG24 report may be required at the application stage or once planning permission has been granted. A noise survey and report are required if:

• The proposed development with commercial areas that may create noise which may affect nearby noise sensitive properties. For example, a new commercial activity near existing residential properties.
• the proposed development positioning will be sensitive to noise and is likely to be affected by existing noise sources i.e. busy roads, railway, airports or commercial activity.

What is the noise Survey report for?
The noise survey report is to demonstrate that:
• the source of noise is evaluated and quantified
• nearby noise sensitive receptors identified
• noise receptors have been determined with reference to noise standards

The noise survey report (where required) will also set out control measures where it is necessary to reduce noise to acceptable levels. For example, the installation of different glazing e.g. from double to triple glazed panels or acoustic trickle vents are installed so that internal noise standards are met.

When should a noise survey report be submitted?
A noise survey report should be submitted during pre-application discussions or more commonly during a planning application. In some circumstances, a planning condition will be included on the planning permission requiring the submission of a noise report.

As background noise surveysare usually carried out prior to completion of a development, compliance with any noise standards are demonstrated by calculation. However, the local authority may also request a post-completion noise survey assessment to prove that noise standards have been achieved.

APT is suitably qualified to carry out noise assessments and provide a noise survey reports
A noise survey must be carried out by a suitably qualified acoustic consultant. We have vast amount of experience and skill in dealing with noise surveys for the planning applications for all types of developments throughout the United Kingdom.

NEC Noise Exposure Categories (NECs)
There are four Noise Exposure Categories based on the level of noise at the development. The NEC in which the site falls determines to what extent noise should be considered in the granting of planning permission.

The NEC(s) for a development are usually determined by monitoring noise levels. Potential mitigation options can then be assessed by calculation, and/or the use of noise modelling. Appropriate noise mitigation can then be incorporated into the development at the design stage.

Planning is awash with often contradictory guidance in regards to noise. The standards, codes of practice do not precisely cover all aspects noise and the subsequent requirements. PPG24tries to address this by the undertaking of noise surveys at the planning stage to assess the overall suitability of the site's noise climate for residential development. With it comes the possibility of noise control measures being necessary as part of the planning
Problems relating to noise during the planning stages can usually be avoided or resolved with a good, detailed and accurate acoustic assessment report. various mitigation measures.

We undertake accurate on-site noise assessments to suit the needs of a client’s problem and their pocket, and deliver concise and clear reports in a timescale which is again designed to suit the client. If there are problems with the noise levels, APT can propose various mitigation measures to help you comply with PPG24 or BS4142 noise surveys.

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APT Sound Testing offer the complete acoustic consultancy and sound testing service. If you would like more information on noise surveys for your new development, then please contact us at: [email protected] or visit our website at:

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