Noise Constraint Assessments happen when a site is earmarked for development or a client is looking to purchase a site, there will often be a requirement to submit an outline planning application or at the very least consider the potential risk of noise impact upon the proposed development or resultant from.
This is where a Noise Constraint Assessments or Noise Risk Assessment comes in. It essentially assesses the suitability of the site for the proposed development and can also be used to accompany an outline planning application where details of the development are lacking at this stage.
Noise Constraint Assessments are often used at the infant stage of a large development, whereby the assessment can inform developers of potential constraints and take these into consideration through the design phase.
What are the elements of a Noise Constraints Assessment?
A Noise Constraints Assessment will start with a comprehensive noise survey undertaken by a suitably qualified consultant and in accordance with relevant British Standards and Guidance. The surveys will quantify the existing baseline levels of noise impacting upon the site, for proposed noise-sensitive uses, and/or at existing receptors for proposed noise producing uses.
Following this, the data will be used to inform state of the art 3D noise modelling software which will produce an accurate representation of the existing sound across the site so that a Noise Risk Assessment can be completed in accordance with the Professional Practice Guidance (ProPG) on Planning & Noise. This Noise Risk Assessment considers the baseline levels of noise and aims to provide advice on the suitability of the proposed usage and can be used to produce an Acoustic Design Statement that includes for Good Acoustic Design and any mitigation measures that may need to be embedded into the design.
As well as the above, consideration to potential locations of residential dwellings is given with potential noise levels compared to the limits and guidance given in BS 8233:2014+A1:2019 and World Health Organisation Guidelines (WHO). Where industrial sound is proposed or exists, BS 4142:2014+A1:2019 will also be used.
What is the main aim of a Noise Constraints Assessment?
The main aim of the Noise Constraints Assessment or Noise Risk Assessment is to determine whether the site is suitable for its intended usage. For example, could acceptable noise levels be achieved at residential dwellings when the site is located next to a Motorway or could a proposed industrial usage be too constrained by the proximity of existing residents to render the usage unsuitable?
Following this, the aim is to provide sufficient information and comfort to the client and Local Planning Authority that noise has been duly considered at the early design/outline planning stage. The report will look to provide advice on any Good Acoustic Design measures that should be incorporated into the detailed design stage. This could include for recommendations that residential dwellings front the sound sources so that external amenity space can achieve acceptable noise levels or that any service yards/bays associated with the proposed industrial use are located on the shadow side of the building in relation to the existing housing.
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