Expert bodies launch consultation on planning and noise
The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, the Association of Noise Consultants (ANC) and the Institute of Acoustics (IOA) have launched a consultation on a new Professional Practice Guidance, which will provide advice on how to manage noise in the planning process.
Focussing on noise sensitive development, the draft guidance is now available for consultation on the three organisations’ websites and feedback is welcomed via a short online questionnaire from anyone involved in advising developers or Local Planning Authorities on noise sensitive developments.
Noise is a material consideration in the planning process and must be taken into account when new developments might create additional noise, as well as when new developments would be sensitive to the prevailing acoustic conditions.
Over recent years, the Government has introduced the Noise Policy Statement for England as well as substantial changes in national planning policy, but these developments have not been accompanied by detailed acoustic advice. That can, the three bodies believe, lead to the inconsistent application of policy, resulting in unsatisfactory development and affecting quality of life.
Excessive noise can lead to sleep disturbance and impair cognitive learning in school children. Long term exposure to some types of transport noise, particularly from aircraft and road traffic can also lead to chronic direct health effects such as heart disease and hypertension.
Howard Price, Principal Policy Officer for the CIEH, said: “Assessing noise sensitivities is an important aspect of the planning process for new developments but neither EHPs nor planners officers are sufficiently supported in their decision-making by current government guidance.
“Together with the ANC and the IoA, we have been working to fill that gap and facilitate efficient and consistent decision-making in the development control process. The draft guidance is now available and we’re welcoming feedback from our members to help make the final document as robust as possible.”
The online consultation is open till 31 March and two further events to discuss the draft guidance are currently being arranged, with details to follow shortly.