Planning & Noise

Planning for Noise Control

Noise (unwanted sound) is a normal part of day to day life in the increasingly busy world we live in. Controlling the potential increase in noise levels is key to Councils and regulatory bodies, whether it involves making roads quieter or using planning control to make sure that new schemes are not going to disturb nearby residents.

The planning process has many elements to ensure that noise and vibration does not cause problems for residents, business, schools, hospitals or any other noise sensitive receiver. This is true from small planning applications, such as installing an air conditioning unit or converting an above shop office into a flat, up to large housing estates and industrial installations.

The use of planning control is highly effective and helps show, prior to any works, that a scheme can comply with the required noise limits. These requirements can cover a huge range of applications, from making sure that new houses will not be overly affected by existing noise, residents will not be not affected by a new air conditioning system, or that noise from a potential industrial site will not affect the surrounding area.

While each local council may have different requirements for noise, the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) includes overarching guidance specific to the control of noise.

To make sure the planning process is effective, many Councils now require noise impact assessments and reports to support the planning application and so these works should be considered early in the life of the project.

Noise Reports For Planning

Planning departments typically request a noise report in the form of a noise impact assessment when submitting a planning application for a new residential building, new building services plant or change of use to commercial premises. This would usually involve a noise survey at the site over several days followed by an acoustic assessment of the proposals. A noise report is then generated, suitable for submission to the planning office,  which may include details of additional works required to achieve a compliant design. We make contact with the appropriate officer at the local council before the survey and report are prepared to confirm that the noise report and will comply with their requirements to avoid further queries that may delay the process. 

Our Services

We specialise in assisting developers, landlords and operators address the planning requirements of local councils by preparing planning noise reports demonstrating how proposals can conform to local noise policies. With our input to the noise and vibration elements of the process, we can help ensure that everything proceeds as smoothly as possible, addressing all elements required by the planners.

Our assistance would often involve early liaison with the planners or council’s environmental team to agree on what they specifically require and an assessment methodology. We will then work quickly and effectively to collect noise data, undertake surveys, measurements of site noise, or any other area that requires addressing, before providing advice as to how to satisfy the council requirements.

If noise control is required this could, depending on the job type, involve glazing advice, ventilation strategies, building orientation, localised screening, or all manner of other options, all of which we can advise you on. Our results are provided to you in an easy to understand technical report which will help satisfy any planning conditions.

Often, our early involvement can help avoid timely and expensive redesigns of plans or mitigation works following completion, and can help reduce the chance of costly over-design. We will work with you to ensure you can meet your acoustic planning requirements long before you even have contractors on site.

Our experienced team offer the following services to assist with the planning process :

- Liaison with Local Authorities
- Noise surveys
- Noise impact assessments (commercial and industrial noise)
- BS4142 assessments
- Noise reports for planning
- Noise control
- Assessment of sites and buildings for residential use
- Change of use application noise assessments
- NPPF noise reports
- General Permitted Development Order - Class O noise assessments
- Construction and demolition noise management plans
- Environmental noise assessments
- Discharge of acoustic related planning conditions
- ADE review and design report