noise near airport

Discharge of Planning Conditions (Acoustics)

Planning conditions are a common feature of planning permissions. The conditions limit and control how the permission must be implemented. Our client (one of the top 5 housing developers in the UK) had received planning permission for a residential-led development comprising circa 1900 residential dwellings near Gatwick airport.

A planning condition for the development requests that a scheme of sound insulation be put in place, for specific objective criteria to be met concerning internal noise levels at the proposed dwellings.

The condition states that the local authority has to be made aware of and agree to any scheme of sound insulation of the dwellings for each phase or sub-phase of the development.

As such, Finch’s acoustic experts were appointed to review the proposals and align them with the requirements of the Local Authority to meet the relevant conditions for the first sub-phase of the development that comprised of 124 dwellings.

The subsequent assessment comprised a review of predictions about Gatwick Airport’s possible expansion; previous works (as part of the Environmental Statement) regarding industrial noise; and computer modelling of road and rail traffic noise.  In addition, an onsite environmental and industrial noise survey was undertaken at selected positions over a weekend to assist with the assessment.

A comprehensive assessment was undertaken of incident noise levels around the proposed dwellings in the sub-phase. In addition, our survey and assessment demonstrated to the local planning authority that a proposed employment-use building and a residential block were erected as planned and the structures do provide the noise reduction envisioned during the initial design stage.

Our acoustic specialists also undertook a review of the sound reduction performance of the various critical items of the external building fabric.

The sound insulation scheme on the dwellings comprised thermal double glazing and acoustic ventilators in habitable rooms with a free area of 2500 mm2 (with continuous mechanical extraction of air).

The assessment demonstrated that the proposed sound reduction scheme is capable of complying with the requirements of the relevant planning condition in a way that minimises adverse noise impacts.

Due to the complexities of the proposals and implications for future phases of the development, our experts were asked to meet with relevant representatives of the local authority to discuss the findings of the report and the possible implications for the various other phases of the development.

Following our involvement, the condition for the particular sub-phase of the development was discharged, and a common assessment methodology was agreed upon with the local authority to expedite future applications to discharge the relevant condition for the remaining phases of the development.

If the planning permission at your site requires the discharge of planning conditions about acoustics (noise and vibration) please do not hesitate to contact our resident acoustic expert Teli Chinelis at [email protected]

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