Thursday, 9th November 2017

ProPG Planning Guidance wins John Connell Soundscape Award

The ProPG Planning & Noise Professional Practice Guidance on Planning & Noise – New Residential Development won the Soundscape Award at the John Connell Awards on Tuesday 31st October at the Palace of Westminster. The awards, dubbed the ‘Noise Oscars’, are organized by the Noise Abatement Society.

The guidance was published in June this year, was produced to provide practitioners with guidance on a recommended approach to the management of noise within the planning system in England.

The working group was sponsored by the Institute of Acoustics, the Association of Noise Consultants and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health. Dani Fiumicelli, Technical Director for Acoustics at Temple, chaired the working group. By working collaboratively to pool their many years of experience and accumulated knowledge and skills, the group has produced guidance which encourages good acoustic design for new residential development which aims to protect people from the harmful effects of noise.

The recommended approach detailed in this guidance includes a framework to enable situations where noise is not an issue to be clearly determined, and to help identify the extent of risk at noisier sites. Higher development costs should usually be anticipated in those areas exposed to high levels of noise that may be harmful or otherwise unacceptable. The recommended approach provides opportunities to incorporate effective design interventions that will enable residential development to proceed in areas that might otherwise have been considered unsuitable thereby helping to increase the supply of urgently needed housing without compromising the policy objective of using good design to provide high quality homes. Inevitably, there may be some situations where it is not appropriate to build new dwellings. Even in those situations, this guide will assist as it encourages early identification of the risk of refusal of planning permission and supports early decision making – thereby avoiding unnecessary development and design costs.

Sponsored by Transport for London, the Soundscape award recognises significant advances of Soundscape principles in line with the international standard BS ISO 12913-1:2014 and the practical application of the standard in the real world.

John Connell, for who the awards are named after, lobbied the Noise Abatement Act through parliament, making noise a statutory nuisance in the UK for the first time, the new noise legislation to be enforced by local authority Environmental Health Officers. The awards were established in 2001 to recognise local authorities, industry, individuals and organisations judged to have been outstanding in their efforts to both reduce the impact of noise nuisance and seek to pioneer practical and innovative solutions to noise pollution.

Temple were previously awarded the ‘Silent Approach’ Award in 2010, for their work with Southwark Borough Council and Mace for their role in addressing the problem of disruption and noise disturbance in a dense urban situation during construction of the Shard in London. This work became a template for other major construction sites in the future.

Full press release issued by the Noise Abatement Society is available here.

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