Environmental Noise Impact Assessment

What is a noise impact assessment?

An environmental noise impact assessment is an exercise of determining how the noise of a development activity and the development itself will impact on the environment.

Who conducts a noise impact assessment?

Noise impact assessments are a complex issue and must be performed properly. It takes a qualified and experienced professional. In England, the noise assessment is typically be performed by qualified acousticians who are corporate members of the Institute of Acoustics.

Why do I need a noise impact assessment?

If you are you planning a new build or converting an existing building, you must apply to your local council for planning permission. Your local council will decline your application or approve it with conditions. Within these conditions there will be a clause relating to environmental noise.

Which standard is used to assess environmental noise

BS 7445

BS7445: Description and measurement of environmental noise is used as the preferred standard to perform environmental noise assessments.

This is a multi-part document divided into the following parts:

  • Part 1: Description and measurement of environmental noise. Guide to quantities and procedures. It's better known as BS7445-1:2003, the guide to quantities and procedures

  • Part 2: Description and measurement of environmental noise. Guide to the acquisition of data pertinent to land use BS 7445-2:1991 ... Guide to the acquisition of data pertinent to land use

  • Part 3 Description and measurement of environmental noise. Guide to application to noise limits BS 7445-3:1991 ... Guide to application to noise limits



As every noise impact assessment is different to another, these can all be used to determine the noise impact on the environment.

We perform environmental noise impact assesssments:

  • for plant installations

  • for proposed residential developments etc.

  • and use BS4142 and BS8233 where appropriate

  • with BS7445

  • for laces of worship

  • for entertainment venues

What is the process of a noise impact assessment?

A noise impact assessment is made up of several steps and are:


Scoping involves:

  • Initital engagement of the assessor with the site

  • Assessor must have a detailed understanding of the project

Establish a baseline

A noise measuremnt in different positions of the proposed dwelling loaction is required.

Prediction of noise levels

This is the prediction of the noise with reference to

  • Source characterisation

  • Propagation conditions

  • Receptor locations


The main objective of a noise assessment is to determine the effect of expected change in the acoustics environment due to the proposed development.


All adverse effects should be considered for mitigation. And have the following hierarchy:

  • Avoidance

  • Reduction

  • Compensation

Reporting and monitoring

A written report of the findings and mitigation measures.

Review and follow up of the noise impact assessment

Reviewed by the determining authority, i.e. the council in which the proposed dwelling is located.

Once satisfied with the report, permission to progress will be granted.

Environmental noise assessments in more detail

The noise management document written by DEFRA - Department for environment, food and rural affairs, refers to a regulation and a framework, namely:

In the NPPF the following sections state:

Section 15 170 (e + f)

e) preventing new and existing development from contributing to, being put at unacceptable risk from, or being adversely affected by, unacceptable levels of soil, air, water or noise pollution or land instability. Development should, wherever possible, help to improve local environmental conditions such as air and water quality, taking into account relevant information such as river basin management plans; and

f) remediating and mitigating despoiled, degraded, derelict, contaminated and unstable land, where appropriate.

Section 15 180

Planning policies and decisions should also ensure that new development is appropriate for its location taking into account the likely effects (including cumulative effects) of pollution on health, living conditions and the natural environment, as well as the potential sensitivity of the site or the wider area to impacts that could arise from the development.

In doing so they should:

  • a) mitigate and reduce to a minimum potential adverse impacts resulting from noise from new development – and avoid noise giving rise to significant adverse impacts on health and the quality of life60;

  • b) identify and protect tranquil areas which have remained relatively undisturbed by noise and are prized for their recreational and amenity value for this reason; and

  • c) limit the impact of light pollution from artificial light on local amenity, intrinsically dark landscapes and nature conservation.

Section 15 204 (g)

g) when developing noise limits, recognise that some noisy short-term activities, which may otherwise be regarded as unacceptable, are unavoidable to facilitate minerals extraction; and

Section 15 205 (c)

ensure that any unavoidable noise, dust and particle emissions and any blasting vibrations are controlled, mitigated or removed at source66, and establish appropriate noise limits for extraction in proximity to noise sensitive properties;

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is an assessment process applied to both new development proposals and changes or extensions to existing developments that are likely to have significant effects on the environment.

What we do for you

As mentioned above, every environmental noise impact assessment is different, and therefore a good understanding is requried.

Once you approach us, we contact the authority that granted you conditional permssion to build, and request full details of what they want to see in the final report.

Thereafter, we provide you with a quotation for delivering exactly what the council or authority have requested.

It is not just the report for which you are paying. You are paying for the permission to go ahead.

With us, we put time frames on our work, and deliver on it too. So if you requrie an environmental noise impact assessment, please get in touch as soon as possible.

Please call us on 01908 643433