Environmental Input


Environmental Input

As part of the consideration of a planning application particularly for development in the commercial and business sector it is often necessary to consult the Environmental Health Division.

The usual areas of consultation relate to the following:


It is important to ensure that any development proposals will not be the cause of a noise nuisance. The noise potential will be considered in more detail where:

  • it is proposed to introduce a noise sensitive development, such as housing, into an area where there is an existing noise source e.g. main road, railway line, industrial or entertainment premises.

  • a noise operation is to be introduced into a noise sensitive area such as a rural village or near to noise sensitive premises (e.g. school, hospital, church or residential premises). Noisy operations can include industrial uses, workshops, restaurants (particularly extractor fans), entertainment premises and certain agricultural workings/machinery. It is also important to consider how noise disturbance from the construction works can be avoided. Noisy sports in the countryside, including clay pigeon shooting, motorbike scrambling, and model aircraft flying, are often the cause of complaints. Codes of Practice, giving guidance on noise issues, are available and should be consulted before your application is submitted if any of these activities are involved.

Noise can be controlled through:

  • Engineering - reducing the noise at source, improving the sound insulation of noise sensitive buildings, and the use of purpose built screens and barriers.

  • Lay out - distancing the noise source from the receiver, the use of natural screens and barriers such as other buildings and non sensitive rooms within a building.

  • Administration - limiting the operating times of the noise source, restricting the activities allowed and specifying noise limits.

It is important that noise issues are resolved during the planning stage to avoid the necessity for costly remedial works at a later date if the noise has to be dealt with as a statutory nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Detailed noise reports may be required for certain applications. Acceptable noise levels for proposed noise sensitive developments near to roads, railways and certain other noise sources will need to be resolved during the planning process.

The overall aim is that existing noise levels should not be increased when introducing an operation into a noise sensitive area.

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