New planning & noise guidance for residential development (ProPG)

On Thursday 22 June, Pau attended the launch event for a new blueprint that encourages better acoustic design for new residential development and aims to protect people from the harmful effects of noise.

The Professional Practice Guidance on Planning & Noise (ProPG) has been produced by the Association of Noise Consultants (ANC), the Institute of Acoustics (IOA) and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH).

Anderson Acoustics welcomes this Professional Practice Guidance, which provides advice for Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) and developers, and their respective professional advisers. It has been widely anticipated and provides practitioners with guidance on a recommended approach to the management of noise within the planning system in England.

The guidance states, “Good acoustic design is about more than the numbers. It is a holistic design process that creates places that are both comfortable and attractive to live in, where acoustics is considered integral to the living environment.”

The ProPG aims to complement existing Government planning and noise policy and guidance. It is not statutory and also cross-refers to BS8233:2014 (guidance on sound insulation and noise reduction for buildings) and the WHO Guidelines for Community Noise. It includes refinements and detailed additional comments to assist practitioners in providing acoustic design for new developments, as well as pertinent considerations on ventilation and overheating: issues which relate closely to noise when designing developments in noisy urban or suburban areas.

The ProPG advocates a two-stage assessment:

– Stage 1: an initial noise risk assessment of the proposed development site; and

– Stage 2: a systematic consideration of four key elements (Good Acoustic Design, Internal Noise Level Guidelines, External Amenity Area Noise Assessment and Other Relevant Issues)

This two-stage approach encourages early consideration of noise issues, facilitates straightforward accelerated decision making for lower risk sites, and assists proper consideration of noise issues where the acoustic environment is challenging.

It is envisaged that following the guidance contained within ProPG will increase the likelihood of successful planning applications for new residential development, yet it also provides a clear basis for recommending refusal of new housing development on noise grounds where necessary.

Joe Baggaley, Principal Consultant for Building Acoustics, Anderson Acoustics commented, “The UK desperately needs new homes. The techniques and consistency of approach promoted by these guidelines should increase both the quantity and speed of housing delivery. Anderson Acoustics has the expertise and experience to undertake the initial environmental noise risk assessments and provide the design advice to rapidly deliver these better sounding homes, spaces and places.”

To download a copy of the full guidance, along with the presentations from the launch event, please click here.

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