National Planning Policy and Noise Policy Statement for England

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National Planning Policy and Noise Policy Statement for England

There are a number of noise policies that guide developments and planning application decisions within the UK, here HA Acoustics’s Senior Acoustic Consultant, Josie takes a look at the National Planning Policy Framework, the Noise Policy Statement for England

 National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), 2012, amended 2018, 2019

  • Sets out the Government’s planning policies for England and how these should be applied.
  • NPPF replaces PPG
  • Released 2012, as amended 2018, 2019.
  • It provides a framework within which locally prepared plans (e.g. by the LA) for housing and other development can be produced.
  • Only certain paragraphs relate to noise, the most importance of this is paragraph 180.
    • This is the same in NPPF (2018 and 2019). The wording is the same throughout 2018 and 2019 for all comments relating to noise.
  • Paragraph 180 directs to the Noise Policy Statement for England for further guidance on how planning should avoid adverse impacts on health and the quality of life due to noise. (NOEL/LOAEL/SOAEL)
  • The other related paragraphs on noise, considers noise in the context of local environments and also noise in relation to mineral extraction:
    • Paragraph 170, e), relating to the natural environment.
    • Paragraph 204, g).
    • Paragraph 205, c)

 

For further information see the government full guidance downloadable here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/810197/NPPF_Feb_2019_revised.pdf

 

Noise Policy Statement for England (2012)

  • The NPSE aims to “Promote good health and a good quality of life through the effective management of noise within the context of Government policy on sustainable development”.
  • It relates to all noise (except workforce noise).
  • Three aims:
    • First
      Avoid significant adverse impacts on health and quality of life from environmental, neighbor and neighborhood noise within the context of Government policy on sustainable development
    • Second
      Mitigate and minimise adverse impacts on health and quality of life from environmental, neighbor and neighborhood noise within the context of Government policy on sustainable development
    • Third
      Where possible, contribute to the improvement of health and quality of life through the effective management and control of environmental, neighbour and neighborhood noise within the context of Government policy on sustainable development

 

  • It borrows the definitions from existing guidance. The WHO – Guidelines for Community Noise (2009), introduced the concepts of NOEL/LOAEL
    • NOEL – No Observed Effect Level: The level below which no effect can be detected.
      • No detectable effect on health and quality of life due to the noise.

 

  • LOAEL – Lowest Observed Adverse Effect Level: The level above which adverse effects on health and quality of life can be detected.

 

  • The NPSE then introduced SOAEL on top of this.
    • SOAEL – Significant Observed Adverse Effect Level: The level above which significant adverse effects on health and quality of life occur.

 

  • It is important to note that NPSE does not provide any levels what is considered as a SOAEL, each noise source should be considered individually. NPSE aims to provide flexibility by not giving any levels.

 

‘Possible Options for the Identification of SOAEL and LOAEL in Support of the NPSE’ – DEFRA / AECOM

  • DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) hired AECOM to undertake further research to try to quantify certain noise source dB levels causing SOAEL by looking at ill health, sleep disturbance, life expectancy, etc.

 

  • They looked at road, rail, air, amplified music, neighbour noise etc.

 

  • These levels can be used as guidance but are not set in stone.

For further information see the government full guidance downloadable here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/69533/pb13750-noise-policy.pdf

If you require further guidance on noise standards and how they affect your planning application, please contact HA Acoustics on 01245206250 or info@HA-acoustics.co.uk and one of our acoustic consultants will guide you.

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