Newhaven Harbour redevelopment

This case study looks at the process taken in order to successfully gain planning permission for the Newhaven Harbour redevelopment, in the midst of commercial and transportation activity.

The client challenge
To gain planning consent to redevelop open land to the east of Newhaven Harbour Train Station and Newhaven Port, providing a multi-storey hotel, two residential blocks of 27 flats and 14 terraced houses.

Unique project challenges
This site is affected by both commercial and transportation noise. To the south of the proposed development is a ferry berth with HGVs and other commercial vehicles embarking and disembarking as early as 4am on weekdays. Further south is another docking berth serving a metal scrap yard which could potentially operate 24 hours a day when a scrap ship is in port. To the west there is train activity associated with Newhaven Harbour and to the east is Beach Road which acts a key access point for a nearby bus depot, with multiple bus movements passing the development site as early as 4:30 am.

How did we solve it?
As with any planning project we undertake, we established a strong line of communication with the local authority from the outset, as in the end, it is they who make the decision as to whether noise has been sufficiently dealt with on the scheme. We also liaised with the local harbourmaster to understand when the port was as it busiest during the night-time hours. Following this period of communication, a detailed noise survey programme and robust assessment approach were established.

To address the commercial noise from the south, the data captured was used to assess the site in accordance with British Standard 4142 which allows us to quantify the likelihood of complaints should a noise-sensitive premises be introduced close to a noise-generating premises. To address transport noise from the bus depot, an assessment was carried out with consideration given to ProPG, British Standard 8233 and World Health Organisation Guidelines, all of which provide guideline values for internal noise levels within residential rooms.

The outcome
The data collected from our activities above allowed us to provide the local authority with a comprehensive noise report, along with a detailed mitigation strategy. We ensured that this report covered all the concerns extracted from the local authority at the outset of the project, thus ensuring that we achieved planning consent for the development with regards to noise.

Our Principal Consultant and head of buildings and planning, Joe Baggaley, commented, “This was a particularly interesting planning project combining BS4142, BS8233, WHO guidelines and Professional Practice Guidance on Planning & Noise (ProPG). It shows that planning consent can be gained effectively if noise impacts are considered from the outset. We were delighted to add this project to our portfolio of noise planning work in East Sussex”.

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