Standards & Legislation: Environment
British Standard 4142 (BS 4142) contains the commonly accepted method of assessing noise impact from new industrial and commercial developments on existing residential properties. It describes a methodology for determining noise levels and procedures for assessing whether the noise is likely to give rise to complaints from residents.
This document was produced by the Noise Council in 1995. The code is designed to consider noise from large scale daytime music events at outdoor venues and within lightweight buildings.
The code was drawn up for the Noise Council by a working party of acousticians with a a particular interest in noise from music events. The main guidance was drawn up for venues that are used up to 12 days per year. A range of noise criteria are provided for noise sensitive properties, depending on the venue category and the number of events per year. Where events continue beyond 23:00 hours, it is recommended that music noise should not be audible within residential premises. Recommendations are provided for noise control measures and suitable licensing conditions.
The document was produced by the Department of the Environment and the Welsh Office in 1988 and provides the method of calculating (and measuring) road traffic noise levels for new and altered highways. The document is referred to as the method of assessment to be used in the Noise Insulation Regulations. However, the document is also used for carrying out road traffic noise assessments for planning purposes in relation to Design Manual for Roads and Bridges as well as developments such as housing sites adjacent to existing and proposed roads.
The Act contains the main legislative controls for noise pollution in the UK. Section 80 of the Act gives local authorities the power to serve a noise abatement notice where a statutory noise nuisance exists. Section 82 allows any individual to apply to a magistrates court for a noise abatement notice to be served if the court is convinced that a statutory nuisance exists.
The Act does not provide any guidance on noise levels that cause a statutory nuisance. The term 'statutory nuisance' is defined as 'noise emitted from premises so as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance'. If a noise abatement notice is breached, the person responsible for the nuisance can be prosecuted for the breach of the notice, and in the case of a business be fined up to £20,000.
MPS 2 was produced by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in March 2005 to provide guidance on controlling the environmental impacts of mineral workings. Annex 2 to MPS 2 deals with noise and replaces MPG 11 in England.
Annex 2 identifies the significant effects of noise from surface minerals operations, identifies good practice in controlling noise, and states how the planning system can keep noise emissions within environmentally acceptable limits without imposing unreasonable burdens on mineral operators. Advice is provided on dealing with potential noise issues through the development control process. Recommendations are provided for acceptable noise levels, both for normal site operations, and for short term operations such as soil stripping, baffle mound formation and removal, and site road construction and maintenance. Guidance is also given on compliance monitoring of noise limits and specific examples of good practice in noise reduction are detailed.
MPS 2 makes reference to BS5228: Code of practice for noise and vibration control on construction and open sites and BS 4142 Industrial Noise.
MTAN 2 was produced by the National Assembly for Wales in January 2009 to provide detailed advice on the policy for both surface and underground working of coal in Wales.
These Regulations document the procedures to be used to assess the requirement to provide noise insulation to residential properties adjacent to new and altered highway schemes. The Regulations provide criteria for overall noise levels, the contribution from traffic on the new or altered highway, a distance cut off of 300m, and they only apply to roads built or altered since October 1969. The Regulations also contain a power to enable noise insulation to properties as a result of construction noise from highway schemes.
Properties that are eligible for noise insulation are provided with a package of measures including secondary glazing and acoustic ventilation for qualifying rooms. In some circumstances, a grant towards the cost of the works can be provided.
The current World Health Organisation (WHO) Guidelines For Community Noise were published in 1999. The guidelines deal with all aspects of environmental noise impact, and provide guideline values for community noise in specific environments. Most of the noise guidelines are given as period LAeq values, although LAmax values are given for some noise environments.
British Standard 5228: Code of practice for noise and vibration control on construction and open sites
British Standard 5228: Code of practice for noise and vibration control on construction and open sites is divided in to two parts.
Part 1 that deals with noise and Part 2 that deals with vibration. Part 1 provides basic information on the prediction and measurement of noise from construction sites and operations such as mines and quarries. Methods of assessment are included as well as review of relevant legislation. A database of noise levels for a wide range of equipment is provided also. This data was obtained by Hepworth Acoustics working on a research contract for Defra.
Part 2 deals with vibration from construction and open sites. The legislative background is provided, together with information on vibration control. A review of relevant vibration criteria is provided together with guidance on measuring vibration.
The document was produced by the Department of Transport in 1995 and provides the method of calculating (and measuring) railway traffic noise levels for new and altered railways. The document is referred to as the method of assessment to be used in the Noise Insulation (Railways) Regulations. However, the calculation method can also used for carrying out railway noise assessments for planning purposes.
Volume 11, Section 3, Part 7 of the Design Manual details the methodology to be adopted to assess the noise and vibration aspects of new highway schemes in the UK, and sets the overall aims and objectives of the Environmental Assessment process. The latest version of this document was introduced in 2011.
The document published in 1996 is the report of the Working Group on Noise from Wind Turbines and contains details of assessment methodologies and criteria. The Working Group consisted of representatives from the industry, consultants and local authorities. The report is not a government document but is referred to in current government guidance as the appropriate method for assessing wind farm noise.
Minerals Technical Advice Note 1: Aggregates (MTAN 1) was produced in 2009 and provides the detailed advice from the Welsh Government in relation to aggregates extraction in Wales.
These Regulations document the procedures to be used to assess the requirement to provide noise insulation to residential properties adjacent to new and altered railway or tram schemes. The Regulations provide criteria for overall noise levels, the contribution from traffic on the new or altered railway and a distance cut off of 300m. The Regulations also contain a power to enable noise insulation to properties as a result of construction noise from highway schemes.
This document was published in March 2012 and provides detailed technical guidance on minerals policy and flood risk. Noise issues are covered in paragraphs 28 - 31 of the document. This section of the document discusses noise emissions from mineral workings, the procedures that should be adopted to assess and control noise, and provides detailed guidance on noise criteria.