Southdowns’ consultants have contemporary expertise on the development and application of methodologies and criteria for the assessment of environmental noise, vibration, dust and air quality impacts.
We can provide comprehensive assessments in accordance with policies and standards at International, European, National or Local Authority levels. Staff have worked as part of multi-disciplinary EIA teams on numerous projects and are familiar with the constraints and inter-disciplinary interests involved in major developments.
Typical EIA tasks include:
- Screening opinions;
- Scoping and methodology;
- Baseline surveys;
- Review and designation of suitable criteria;
- Identification of sensitive receptors and resources;
- Calculation and evaluation of impacts;
- Identification of the likely significant effects;
- Identification of options for additional mitigation measures; and
- Reporting of the likely residual significant effects.
Planning and Noise
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)  requires Local Planning Authorities to produce policies and decisions which aim to ‘avoid noise from giving rise to significant adverse impacts on health and quality of life as a result of new development’ and ‘mitigate and reduce to a minimum other adverse impacts on health and quality of life arising from noise from new developments, including through the use of conditions’.
The Noise Policy Statement for England (NPSE) was published in 2010, and more recently published Planning Practice Guidance for Noise (PPG-N)  is limited to basic themes and example outcomes for collating information and assessing adverse, and significant adverse, effects. This basic framework does not provide explicit guidance on acceptable noise levels and as such still requires and relies upon specialist input to ensure that the guidance is interpreted and transferred appropriately to a particular project.
Other guidance is available in the National Policy Statements (NPS) for energy, waste water and national networks and these policy documents can provide relevant special guidance on assessing the significance of effects for nationally significant infrastructure projects.
Southdowns has extensive experience of dealing with complex planning issues, where noise is a material consideration and has in-depth knowledge of all the relevant standards and guidance documents relating to noise. We have prepared numerous technical reports in support of successful planning applications for residential, industrial, commercial and leisure developments of various sizes, as well as many road and railway schemes.
Any noise related planning conditions which have been attached to the planning permission, will often require discharging prior to the commencement of the development. Southdowns can guide you through the discharge requirements, which may include demonstrating compliance with noise limits, providing acoustic glazing specifications for residential developments or designing schemes of sound proofing for commercial businesses.
Planning and Air Quality
The NPPF requires Local Planning Authorities to produce policies and decisions which aim to ‘sustain compliance with and contribute towards EU limit values or national objectives for pollutants, taking into account the presence of Air Quality Management Areas and the cumulative impacts on air quality from individual sites in local areas’ and ‘Planning decisions should ensure that any new development in Air Quality Management Areas is consistent with the local air quality action plan’.
The Air Quality Strategy 2007 provides a framework for improving air quality. The Air Quality Standards Regulations 2010 provides limit values, target values and objectives for air pollutants.
As with noise, the basic framework under PPG does not provide explicit guidance on acceptable effects on air quality or dust, and as such still requires and relies upon specialist input to ensure that the guidance is interpreted and transferred appropriately to a particular project.
Once planning permission has been gained, Southdowns can guide you through the discharge requirements, which may include demonstrating air quality compliance with EU limits values of objectives, providing ventilation specifications for residential developments or designing schemes to minimise emissions.
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