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December 2011 issue 58

Wind case settled
The long running nuisance case centred on wind turbines at Deeping St Nicholas in Lincolnshire has been settled.

Partial turn off for East Yorks wind farm
Noise nuisance provisions have been triggered at an East Yorkshire wind farm.

Injunction renewed to stop boy racers
Birmingham Community Safety Partnership, with the support of West Midlands Police, has successfully secured a two year extension to an Injunction Order under section 222 of the Government Act 1972, preventing anti social boy racers from car-cruising in Castle Vale and surrounding area, within Birmingham.

Loudness saves lives?
A noisy motorbike was partly to blame for the injury of a horse rider, a court says.

Epuk to cease trading
Environmental Protection UK is set to cease trading in March. Efforts are being made to allow the 113 year old charity to continue in voluntary form.

AM condition: more findings
Renewable Energy Systems has reaffirmed its opposition to the use of conditions to control amplitude modulation.

Wind discussed
IoA is holding a conference in wind turbine noise in Cardiff on the 26th January. Topics such as the Den Brook amplitude modulation condition (above) are being discussed. l More details

NI complaints
A new report published by the Northern Ireland Department of the Environment (DOE), finds a total of 11,585 complaints were received by district councils in 2010-11 compared to 11,687 for 2009/10. There were 24 prosecutions brought in 2010-11 compared to eight in 2009-10.

B&K probe
Brüel & Kjær’s new 2270-G can be linked with a screen to show coloured sound power contours from a noise source.

Barking fines
A Nailsea couple has been fined hundreds of pounds for failing to comply with a noise abatement notice slapped on their barking dogs.

Euro levels mapped
European citizens will soon be able to access and upload data on noise levels in their area with a new application.

Aecom sets out to find levels
Consultant Aecom has been appointed by Defra to identify, where possible, appropriate lowest observed adverse Effect levels (LOAELs) and significant observed adverse effect levels (SOAELS) for a range of noise source/effects based on strong scientific evidence in support of the Noise Policy Statement for England.

Second round of mapping begins
Defra has advertised for contractors to carry out the second round of noise mapping to comply with the European Noise Directive.

Defra assesses recent policy intervention
Defra is looking to study the effectiveness of recent noise policies.

Out-of-hours Olympic deliveries possible
Transport for London has released the results of a series of trials of out-of-hours deliveries conducted with a number of London boroughs, and a range of businesses including supermarkets, pubs and hotels in advance of the London 2012 Games.

Air noise changes
The European Commission has adopted a policy document on aviation that could influence aircraft noise.

Licensing Act causes grief
Licensing Act changes have not gone down well. Small wonder if you can organise a party for 5,000 without getting permission, finds Lis Stedman

Noise Abatement Society has concerns
The Noise Abatement Society has also responded to the Government’s plans to deregulate licensing.

Awards celebrate excellence
Lis Stedman finds out who won what at the annual Noise Abatement Society John Connell awards

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November 2011 issue 57

Mixed result in nightclub row
The Ministry of Sound nightclub in south London has succeeded in preventing one ‘bad neighbour’ development – but lost against another.

Biodiversity costed
Defra is to carry out research to cost the impact of noise on biodiversity. To date costings of the impact of noise have included human health and amenity but not impact on biodiversity.

Spaldington: AM condition not justified
Use of the Den Brook amplitude modulation condition has been rejected by the planning inspector at an appeal inquiry for two wind farms at Spaldington, East Yorkshire. One farm was rejected on noise grounds, the other approved.

Dismay over demise of PPG 24
A heated debate raged on PPG24 and what – if anything – will replace it at the recent Association of Noise Consultants annual conference held in Birmingham last week.

... & IoA PPG24 fears
The Institute of Acoustics has added its fears to the debate about the National Planning Policy Framework.

PI warning
An insurance broker has warned consultants to look at the small print in their insurance contracts to make sure noise is covered.

Heat pump noise spreads to 45m
There is a large difference in noise outputs between the best and the worst air source heat pumps, a study has revealed.

Sonic experiments underway in Brighton
The Noise Abatement Society is involved in a series of sonic artworks to ‘challenge notions of sound in public places’ as part of the Brighton White Night event.

Noise on the telly
Newcastle upon Tyne and other councils are to feature in a fly in the wall TV documentary. Noise Squad has 15 45-minute daily episodes starting at 11am on 5th December. Set your TV recorders!

Procedural delay
The European Court of Human Rights has found against a member state for unnecessarily dragging out action on noise.

Noise ‘too big to ignore’
A gathering of wind energy experts has been told that amplitude modulation is “too big to ignore”.

IoA sponsors
The IoA is once again sponsoring a John Connell Technology Award for efforts on noise.

Heathrow canned
There has been further bad news for those that want a third runway at Heathrow.

Etsu patch questioned
The IoA agreement was intended to patch up gaps in Etsu wind turbine guidance, but is it wrong? Jack Pease looks at the latest developments

Amplitude modulation condition defended with real data
Real wind data has been used to test the Den Brook wind farm amplitude modulation condition.

Noise Council update at last?
Newly published research into the impact of outdoor concert noise is being used to inform a revision of the Noise Council code of practice. Lisa Russell reports

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October 2011 issue 56

Epuk: Stevens departs
Epuk’s policy chief and noise specialist Mary Stevens is to leave Environmental Protection UK. She has been there since 1988.

IoA agreement worsens noise, says Stigwood
Consultant Mike Stigwood has reviewed the use of the “IoA agreement” which was intended to improve the use of Etsu for wind turbine assessments.

l A copy of the MAS Study of article method versus ETSU-R-97 can be down-loaded from

Spaldington ruling
As Noise Bulletin went to press, an appeal inspector for turbines at Spaldington in East Yorks said amplitude modulation conditions were not enforceable. More details next month.

Homeowners complain of ‘gun shot’ noises
Loud cracking noises in new homes have been investigated in a report.

Challenge to AM condition
Wind farm developer RES is to question the amplitude modulation condition placed on the Den Brook wind farm. Meanwhile the industry is contacting planning authorities to “prevent them using” the condition.

Licensing relaxation goes to consultation
The Culture Department is consulting on relaxing entertainment licences. Noise is considered in the consultation.

Turbines and pumps permitted
Permitted development rights have been granted for wind turbines and other green infrastructure.

Temple growth
Rapidly-expanding Temple Group has appointed Dani Fiumicelli as technical director.

Key noise level study for policy statement
Defra is seeking research contractors to help set noise levels to support the Noise Policy Statement for England (NPSE).

News from Acoustics 2011 IoA conference in Glasgow

Etsu too prescriptive: Bowdler
Etsu wind planning guidelines are too prescriptive to work, says consultant Dick Bowdler.

Bowdler: Pan 1/2011
Consultant Dick Bowdler told the conference of his concerns over the recent planning and noise (PAN) guidance for Scotland (NB April p8).

Perkins sets out wind probe
Parsons Brinckerhoff’s Richard Perkins told the IoA Glasgow conference about progress towards good practice guidance on Etsu.
Henley goes Defra noise minister Lord Henley has been replaced by Lord Taylor (of Holbeach). Henley has gone to the Home Office.

Car wash approved with conditions
A car wash has been given the all-clear following an appeal centred on noise nuisance.

Norsonic helps Goodwood keep the peace
Norsonic has successfully installed a new noise monitoring and planning system at Goodwood Motor Circuit in Chichester.

Welsh wind respite
Over a thousand signatures have been gathered for a Welsh petition on wind farms.

Rushlight awards
Rushlight is repeating its successful awards scheme for technology. A noise abatement category is designed to include any type of technology, innovation, material and procedure that either prevents or reduces noise l More details of the annual award scheme can be found on www.rushlight

£5,500 fine for noise
Noisy neighbours from Woodhall Spa, near Lincoln, have been fined over £5,500 and had their TV, stereo and DVD player confiscated by magistrates.

Shield award
Professor Bridget Shield has been awarded the Institute of Acoustics RWB Stephens Medal for her “outstanding contribution” to research and education.

Pop noise study concludes
In November 2009 Vanguardia was awarded a Defra research contract, (NANR 297) to review the environmental noise at concerts. Data has now been collected and published.

Proven fall
Wind turbine manufacturer Proven Energy has gone into administration.

10 minute rule causes concern
Airport campaign group Hacan says BAA is planning a ‘ten minute rule’ whereby planes that are more than ten minutes late can land on the ‘wrong’ runway.

Predictor update
Bruel & Kjaer has launched an updated version of its Predictor noise mapping software

Southern learning
Southampton Solent University is the latest centre to deliver tutored distance learning for the Institute of Acoustics' Diploma in Acoustics and Noise Control.

Why noise matters?
Lis Stedman reviews a new book out with contributions from internationally renowned noise experts and protesters
Why Noise Matters: A Worldwide Perspective on the Problems, Policies and Solutions By John Stewart with Arline Bronzaft, Francis McManus, Nigel Rodgers and Val Weedon is available, price £24.99 from Earthscan

August/September 2011 Issue 55

Pressure on planning revamp
Pressure is growing on the Government to review plans to create a presumption in favour of development.

Mayor reveals updated London plan
The Mayor has produced his London Plan which sets out planning policy for new developments and guides boroughs through their LDFs (Local Development Frameworks).

Turbine case held
The case of a homeowner seeking an injunction against a “noisy” wind farm has overrun and been adjoined until November.

Danish go low
The Danish Environmental Protection Agency has said it will introduce a new indoor limit to reduce nuisance from low frequen

Back to court for Elvington
Elvington racetrack is once again appealing against a noise abatement notice.

Red tape purge turns to enforcement
The Government’s war against red tape and unnecessary regulation has turned its focus onto regulatory enforcement.

Consultants’ join exodus to Xodus
A number of ex-Bureau Veritas consultants have joined the growing 19-strong acoustics team at Xodus Aurora.

Edinburgh’s guide to busking
Buskers in the Edinburgh are being encouraged to be more considerate in a new crack-down on noise and anti-social behaviour.

Noise survey
The UK Noise Association is encouraging the public to fill in a noise survey.

l It can be found on

TRL considers risks from quiet cars
DfT commissioned TRL to look at the safety issues of quiet vehicles such as electric or hybrid cars. There are concerns that at slow speeds, these vehicles could lead to more pedestrian accidents, especially among those with poor eyesight.

Noise annoyance surveyed by Dutch team
Groningen University researchers in the Netherlands have launched a survey into the nature of noise annoyance.

Bedsit decision
A bedsit can be used as a commercial kitchen preparing Indian food, an appeal inspector has ruled.

Penalty rise
There has been a sharp rise in fixed penalty notices issued for noise, Parliament has been told.

Night service
Herefordshire Council has run a summer trial of a night-time noise response service.

Responsible borough
Tower Hamlets council and the police have taken on new powers to tackle alcohol related anti-social behaviour.

More anti social eviction powers
Social landlords may be given strengthened powers to evict ‘neighbours from hell’.

Watts sets out tranquillity formula
Former TRL quiet area guru Greg Watts, now at Bradford University, has proposed a tranquillity formula which could increase the benefits of visiting urban and country parks.

Heathrow freedoms
Heathrow Airport may trial use of ‘operational freedoms’.
BA concedes BA appears to have accepted there will be no Heathrow third runway.

US wind farm views
The US Acoustic Ecology Institute has updated a report on wind farm noise.

ICBEN comes to London
Issues related to the Noise Policy Statement for England and new forthcoming guidance were on the agenda in July at the issue-packed ICBEN conference, reports Lisa Russell (and more from the conference in our next issue!)

Guidelines for quiet deliveries
The Noise Abatement Society has been involved with quiet deliveries over the past few years which has led to joint guidelines, finds Lis Stedman

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July 2011 issue 54

Acoustics and noise consultants review 2011
Our much anticipated ranking and review of consultants involved in environmental noise

Etsu: new guide needed
Wind turbine specialist consultant Hayes McKenzie has completed its review on the consistency of Etsu guidance. It has proposed new ‘best practice guidance’.

Birmingham City loses 5-a-side battle
Birmingham City Council has been rapped by a judge for failing to talk to a business on which it had served an abatement notice.

Highland halt
Highland Council placed a temporary stop on a wind farm to force the operator to comply with noise conditions.

Quiet deliveries
A DfT-commissioned study suggests that quieter deliveries could cut delivery costs and pollution by shifting commercial deliveries away from peak times.

15m turbines assessed wrongly?
An expert report submitted in response to a planning application for a 15m tall wind turbine has highlighted arguments against medium sized wind turbines.

Final renewables NPS tabled
National Policy Statement (NPS) EN3 for renewables – which include large wind farms – has been put before Parliament in its final form.

Lords discuss minimum separation
The House of Lords have further discussed the issue of imposing minimum distances on wind turbine developers. A proposed Bill has little chance of becoming law, but has gathered considerable support at Westminster.

10 million affected, says Which?
At least five million people are currently annoyed with their neighbour, and over 10 million have had a neighbour problem in the last year – but a quarter fail to take any action, claims consumer group Which?

Complaints guidance released
Defra has finally released a methodology for dealing with wind farm noise complaints.

Who won the windfarm war?
BBC’s Windfarm Wars provided a stark insight into wind turbine planning and noise issues. Jack Pease offers his opinion and reviews the programme

Planning futures considered
The Institute of Acoustics gathered noise and planning specialists together to discuss where things are going. Lis Stedman reports

Housing problems
Inadequate housing accounts for over 100 000 deaths per year in the WHO European region and causes or contributes to many preventable diseases and injuries, including respiratory, nervous system and cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

EU report welcomed
The European Environment Bureau has welcomed the Commission’s adoption of a report on the 2002 Environmental Noise Directive.

Heathrow action
Heathrow Airport has published its noise action plan.

Little abuse?
MP Joan Walley tabled a Parliamentary question asking the Home Office what instances there were of abuse by a local authority of its powers in connection with the investigation of neighbour noise complaints. None have been reported.

Annoyed Germans
A German Environment Agency survey suggests that road traffic is the greatest source of noise for some 70,000 respondents.

SEPA shake up
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) says that its consultation on changes to regulation has received broad support.

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June 2011 issue 53

Amplitude modulation conditions approved
In what is expected to be the final chapter of the long running Den Brook wind farm ‘war’, both sides have claimed success in the High Court. The wind farm gets the go ahead – but stringent amplitude modulation conditions are confirmed and likely to be used elsewhere.

Research cut
Defra has updated its research plans.

Research delays
Epuk has reported continuing delays in publication of research on wind turbine noise.

Noise and other ‘services’ costed
Defra has released a study that assigns costs to noise and other environmental issues. The costings have been embraced by the Natural Environment White Paper released this week.

DfT revamps cost benefit analysis
The DfT has added a new tool to its suite of guidance for assessing transport infrastructure.

White paper affects noise
Noise features in a new natural environment white paper. Noise wasn’t mentioned in the initial draft (Noise Bulletin Aug/Sept 2010 p4).

Details emerge of industry amplitude modulation study
While taking the official line that amplitude modulation is not a problem, Renewable UK (formerly the British wind Energy Association) has bowed to the inevitable and is funding a comprehensive study into the phenomena.

Planning reform: hints given
A glimpse of the shape of future streamlined planning system have been included in the new environment White Paper

Experts suggest wording of planning policy
A group of Government-selected planning experts have proposed a wording for the overarching planning policy framework. The framework is intended to be a short overarching policy statement to replace current policy and accompanying detailed guidance such as PPG24 on noise (see above).

Turbine noise in Rome
Wind turbine experts gathered in Rome recently to discuss noise. Low frequency noise and amplitude modulation provided plenty to talk about

Heathrow plans to revamp noise schemes
Heathrow Airport is consulting on changes to noise amelioration policies including the Cranford Agreement.

Night flight delay
A consultation on changes to night flights at London airports has been delayed until Spring 2012.

Councillor wants 2km turbine separation
South Cambridgeshire Council has passed a motion requesting that wind turbines have a 2km separation zone and developers prove they cause no harm.

Councils spring to action
Lis Stedman finds out whether budget cuts have dampened the ardour of local authorities and other organisations taking part in Noise Action Week

Wales finalises quiet area guidance
Draft guidance on noise action planning and quiet areas has been firmed up by the Welsh Assembly.

Quieter fleets
The Campaign for Better Tyres has published tyre comparison data to help fleet managers choose better tyres to improve the economical, environmental and safety performance of their vehicles.

Wiltshire fine
A Wiltshire stonemason firm has been fined £20,000 for failure to comply with a noise abatement notice.

Motocross win
A planning enforcement notice issued by West Lancashire Borough Council ordering the motocross track at Leisure Lakes, near Tarleton to cease operating has been confirmed by the Planning Inspectorate and an appeal by the operator dismissed.

Night deliveries
Transport for London is considering relaxing overnight delivery restrictions during the Olympic games.

Carbon confirmed
Last month energy and climate secretary Chris Huhne confirmed tougher-than-expected carbon targets as set by the independent Committee on Climate Change.

Europe seeks help
The European Environment Agency (EEA) has advertised a vacancy for project manager for managing its noise reporting and assessments.

Turbine SPG
Scottish Borders has released special planning guidance for wind turbines.

Quieter vehicles
The EU has announced plans to make cars and lorries quieter

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May 2011 issue 52

Gorsedd cements Etsu fears
Etsu wind turbine guidance has once again been undermined in the written judgement just released for the Gorsedd Bran wind turbine appeal.

Euro noise award
Coinciding with International Noise Awareness Day on 27th April, the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the Noise Abatement Society (NAS) are seeking submissions for the new European Soundscape Award which will recognise innovative solutions to noise problems.

Noise directive ‘bureaucratic’: UKNA
The UK Noise Association has called on the Government to drop “bureaucratic” legislation imposed on it by Brussels.

Hyde Park win
Vanguardia Consulting has won the noise management and control contract for all concerts at Hyde Park for the next two years.

Roadside tests evaluated
DfT commissioned TRL to look at possible tests for roadside vehicle noise testing.

More regulation, not less
A Government website set up with the aim of cutting red tape appears to be gathering support for more regulation on noise, not less.

Endangered sounds captured ‘forever’
The British Library’s UK SoundMap now has nearly 1800 recordings as it nears the end of the 12 month project.

York reviews enforcement year
York has reviewed its noise enforcement work for the period 2010-11.

Class action
 Law firm Hugh James is launching a class action against The Monckton Coke and Chemical for compensation in relation to the noise, odour and dust nuisance coming from its site located at Royston in Barnsley.

LGR cut
Local Government Regulation – formerly Lacors – has outlined how it will function following drastic cuts of 45%.

Free tyre guide
Epuk has produced free tyre procurement guidance for fleet managers as part of the Campaign for Better Tyres.

US research needs
The US Transportation Research Board has outlined key research needs for noise and aviation.

Cheap mikes
Belgian researchers have looked at the use of cheap microphones for use in environmental noise

More Hypertension
Taiwanese researchers have confirmed a link between road noise and high blood pressure (hypertension).

Men suffer more from aircraft
Men may suffer more from aircraft noise, Swedish researchers suggest.

AM scrutiny
Speaking at the recent international wind turbine noise conference held in Rome, consultant Dick Bowdler has outlined the shape of new Renewable UK research into wind farm amplitude modulation (thumping).

Quiet spaces good
A Government survey has highlighted the value of green spaces.

Hinton odour win
Hinton Organics has won a four and a half year long court battle over perceived noise and odour nuisance issues at its composting site near Keynsham, Bristol.

Research down
Defra has set out its plans for research. Noise research will be 8% lower in 2011/12 than in the previous year.

Noise compared to air pollution levels...
Belgian researchers have tried to compare noise levels and ultrafine particle concentrations to see if one could be a marker for the other.

...and can confound pollution results
Spanish researchers have tried to tease out the impacts of noise and air pollution on health.

IoA wades into school debate
Deregulation of ‘red tape’ may impact on acoustics standards of schools. The IoA is not happy, finds Lis Stedman

Costing noise. £££s or DALYs?
Measuring and costing the health impacts of environmental factors such as noise is beset with uncertainties but a clearer picture is emerging of how much harm can be done, says Lisa Russell

April 2011 Issue 51

WHO costs health impacts

The influential world Health Organisation has costed the impact of traffic noise in Europe.

Small turbines ‘not quiet’

Small wind turbines are not quiet, Aecom’s Dani Fiumicelli told an IoA eastern region meeting in Braintree last month.

Aussie consultant proposes wind guidelines

Australian noise consultant Noise Management Services has suggested separation zones of 2km to avoid noise disturbance from wind farms.

Elmbridge plugs gap with out-of-hours toolkit

Closure of Elmbridge’s out of hours noise service has prompted the council to produce an online toolkit.

Budget cuts guidance

Last month’s Budget has confirmed that planning guidance will be cut to kickstart the economy and cut red tape.

Accon helps quiet area plans

Consultant Accon UK is contributing to the European €5m CityHush project which seeks to quieten urban areas.

Ministers back Epuk’s quiet tyre launch

Transport and environment ministers have formally launched Epuk’s quiet tyre initiative.

No noise HA

The Highways Agency has released its latest business plan for 2011/12.

Government restarts probe into aviation

A broad-based consultation has been launched by the Government aimed at improving the sustainability of UK aviation.

Noise spillage spotted at hall

Monitor equipment by Norsonic has been used in a novel way to spot noise spillage from a medieval hall in Norwich City Centre.

Webtrak software for Copenhagen airport

Copenhagen Airport has chosen monitor manufacturer Brüel & Kjær for a new noise and flight monitoring system upgrade.

Clarke to retire

Tim Clarke, pollution control manager at Bristol City Council, is to take early retirement next month.

Soundscape mag

The Noise Abatement Society has launched a new “e-zine”.

Local cuts

Councils are making their biggest cuts in central management, in response to Government spending restrictions

DVD on noise

Consultant Encentre has produced a DVD aimed at explaining the noise complaints procedure.

Road noise reviewed

An issue of TRL’s Current Topics includes over 40 abstracts of reports, conference papers, books and journal articles which focus on the ongoing, worldwide requirement for low noise surfaces.

Court sets WHO precedent?

Last month a hotly-fought fight between householders and a motor sports venue came to a head at the High Court. Jack Pease considers the arguments

Scotland bucks guidance trend

Lis Stedman looks at revised planning guidance on noise in Scotland



February/March 2011 issue 50


Speedway prompts damages

Complainants have won a long running battle against a speedway stadium which was causing noise disturbance near their home in Mildenhall, Suffolk.

Fight looms on high speed link noise

The Government has outlined plans for the proposed route of the high speed rail line from London to the West Midlands. HS2 is the first phase of a national high speed network capable of accommodating trains running at 250 mph.

Wales forges ahead on quiet areas

The Welsh Assembly Government has released a consultation on designation of quiet areas and noise action planning areas.

Wind farm conditions ‘minefield’

Wind farm conditions are a “minefield” claimed Welsh planning inspectorate chief John Davies.

Etsu undermined by Gorsedd Bran decision

An appeal has been rejected leaving further question marks over the future of Etsu wind turbine guidance.

Slimline guidance for Scotland

As England backs away from planning guidance, Scotland has re-released planning guidance on noise.

Cirrus launches nuisance Trojan

Noise monitor equipment manufacturer Cirrus Research has launched a new noise nuisance recorder, the Trojan.

Daly’s up

A WHO report on the health impacts of noise is due to report shortly.

Turner comes in

Stephen Turner has left Bureau Veritas to take up position as head of the noise and nuisance technical and evidence team at Defra.

Air costs claim

HACAN has published a study from consultants CE Delft which claims that sleep disturbance at Heathrow is costing the country so much money in terms of poor health, early death and low productivity at work that it would almost certainly help the economy if flights were banned before 6am.

Scots heed microgen fears

Planning controls for microgeneration in Scotland have been deregulated – but only partially, taking heed of fears that domestic wind turbines and heat pumps can create noise nuisance.

LTp replacement includes noise indicator

The funding mechanism that will replace the Local Transport Plan regime has been announced. Noise impacts are included.

Weedon teams up with Noisedirect

Val Weedon, a leading anti-noise campaigner, has been appointed creative consultant for Noisedirect, a dedicated noise service provided by Sanctum Consultants.

NI noise complaints rise again

Northern Ireland environment minister Edwin Poots has urged councils to step up efforts to drive down the level of noise nuisance. A new report revealed that noise complaints rose by 5% over the past year.

Heart effects

Danish researchers believe road traffic noise can increase the likelihood of a stroke among the over-65s.

Live music Bill

The Government has given provisional backing to a Live Music Bill at its Second Reading in the House of Lords.

Epuk warns on ‘red tape’ cuts

Epuk has cautioned against the Government’s plans to cut planning ‘red tape’ – such as guidance on environmental issues.

Regs cuts threaten schools

In a unusual move, the Institute of Acoustics has criticised the watering down of school noise standards in a bid to cut red tape.

London airport noise reductions

Noise contours have been released for the three main London airports for 2009 and show a dramatic reduction – mostly due to reductions in traffic volumes.

Finnish firm moots UK rental service

APL Systems from Finland has developed a series of noise monitoring products that are claimed to have endured tens of thousands of hours of uninterrupted operation in the harsh weather of Scandinavia.

2260 Investigator out

B&K is ceasing production of its long running Sound Level Meter Type 2260.

Useful website

Three Spires Acoustics has relaunched a new website which includes quick links to many useful noise policy documents, web pages and podcasts.

Noise: coming to your back yard?

Noise complaints about a 15m-high wind turbine in East Renfrewshire have focused attention on the information required to assess the impact of the smaller wind developments that are springing up. Lisa Russell reports.

What will replace ASBOs?

The proposed demise of ASBOs had been a worry – they were useful for controlling noise. Luckily, noise figures in new proposals, finds Lis Stedman

Missed opportunity for police powers

Epuk says it is disappointed that the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill, currently progressing through Parliament, has missed the opportunity to give the police similar powers to the local authority to take action on noise – the police have powers to act in Scotland under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982.

January 2011 Issue 49

Civil Aviation Act order made

In what is thought to be the first use of a little known clause of the Civil Aviation Act, residents have succeeded in winning an order that could quieten flying activities at an airfield on the outskirts of High Wycombe.

Mayor no longer required to produce strategy

The Government’s Localism Bill will allow the Government to pass on EU fines to councils and removes the requirement for the London Mayor to produce a dedicated noise strategy.

Hepworth helps out at Coronation Street

Hepworth Acoustics has been appointed by ITV as acoustic consultant for the move of Coronation Street and ITV offices to MediaCityUK in Salford Quays in 2012.

Usual suspects overlooked

Defra has awarded a contract on the health effects of noise to a team including the Health and Safety Laboratory, an arm of the Health and Safety Executive.

Resident fails to stop extension

An Oxford resident – representing himself in the High Court – has tried and failed to overturn planning permission for a massive £130m extension to Oxford Brookes University on noise grounds.

Eviction notices made easier

So-called neighbours from hell could face swifter eviction, claims housing minister Grant Shapps.

URS completes Scott Wilson reorganisation

The acoustics teams at URS and Scott Wilson have now combined following the merger of the two firms last year (Noise Bulletin October p2).

Turner joins Defra

 In a widely anticipated move, Bureau Veritas’s director of acoustics Stephen Turner has joined Defra as head of noise & nuisance technical & evidence team.

MPs criticise Defra

Defra is not best placed to ensure that other Government departments embed sustainability in their operations and policy making, MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee have warned.

Cull criticised

The Coalition Government’s cull of quangos has been criticised by the House of Commons Public Administration Committee.

Indicator gives leg-up to noise?

A new indicator on noise to steer public health policy? Jack Pease ponders the future of noise following publication of the Public Health Bill

Planning guidance to be simplified

The Coalition Government has added further detail to its plans to simplify planning guidance.
Survey: how the cuts are biting
The prospect of continued cuts brings a wide range of personal and professional worries for environmental health officers, as Lisa Russell and Jack Pease found when they surveyed a cross-section (and were overwhelmed with their response!) 

December 2010 issue 48

Happy Christmas

Noise Bulletin’s wishes all its readers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Boost for noise in White Paper?

The Coalition Government’s Public Health White Paper may provide a boost for noise and quiet area policy.

European guide accepts more annoyance

A 2010 European good practice guide on noise exposure and potential health effects suggests a lower threshold level of annoyance for aircraft noise than currently used in the UK for aviation.

More Court action for Elvington

York City Council has once again won a court case and £23,000 in costs backing its action against noisy activities at Elvington Circuit

Noise mentioned in waste water NPS

A draft national policy statement (NPS) on waste water developments has once again flagged up the issue of nuisance under the incoming major projects regime.

£4,000 for intentional nuisance

A Buckinghamshire couple have been told to pay significant compensation to their neighbours following a noise dispute.

High speed link prompts noise pledge

Campaign group Environmental Protection UK has welcomed transport minister Phil Hammond’s pledge to take a detailed look at noise impacts of the proposed High Speed 2 rail link.

Plea for minimum distance

Another attempt has been made to introduce a minimum distance Bill into Parliament covering wind turbines.

Metric chosen

Spanish researchers have tried to choose metrics that reflect the impact of noise on personal well being.

3dB is optimal level of reduction

Dutch researchers have studied aircraft noise and found 3dB to be an optimal level of reduction.

Low cost noise mapping method launched

NPL has formerly launched a low cost technique for mapping noise pollution. It claims this could replace current predictive models which rely on assumptions, and will help meet EU directives on noise pollution and inform strategic planning for noise control.

Noise ‘Oscars’ awarded for 2010

Each year the Noise Abatement Society seeks to find out who is doing good work and champion the best. Lis Stedman finds out who has been doing what

Council action: noise action planning tool

After years of talking the talk, Defra finally has something that local authorities can get their teeth into in the noise mapping and action planning process

Big turbines

According to official industry documents seen by The Sunday Telegraph, two companies plan to build wind farms each with turbines about 493ft (150 metres) tall in Norfolk and in Lincolnshire – about 80 feet higher than current large turbines.

Barrier tests

TRL has carried out testing of wooden noise barriers typically used on Highways Agency roads.

Heat pump call

Decc is seeking tenderers to research noise from air source heat pumps.

B&K joins suites

Brüel & Kjær has launched its new integrated Predictor-LimA software

Action week

Noise Action Week 2011 will take place on 23-27 May.

Student seizure

Leeds students’ TVs, stereos and laptops have been seized for ignoring late night noise warnings

Compliance thoughts

The European Commission is looking at a strategy that will try to ensure better compliance with environmental laws.

Sleep problems

Norwegian researchers have found that traffic noise can affect sleep, but found no link between noise and cardiovascular problems.

Noise review

The PARTNER grouping has issued a report on aircraft noise health effects.

November 2010 Issue47

Website review: who won?

We've repeated our popular review of over 800 noise websites and chosen our winners. Non subscribers can view our limited sample here

Industry to pay for wind study

Renewable UK (formerly the British Wind Energy Association) is commissioning research into wind turbine noise.

Subtle changes to energy planning statement

Draft energy national policy statements (NPSs) for power generation have been reissued for comment. A new clause has been added where wind farms only just meet Etsu guidance.

Schools free-for-all

Consultation is underway that may see new schools exempted from the need to get planning permission.

News from the EPUK Noise Update conference held in Birmingham

Web tool nears completion

Defra is nearing completion of an ‘Important Area’ web tool.

Westminster strategy ‘not a burden’

Westminster City Council is one of the few councils in the country with an action plan – and it needn’t be a burden, the council’s Phil McIlwain told the Epuk conference.

Cheap microphones key to noise mapping

Arrays of cheap microphones could be used to validate noise maps.

PPG24 has ‘had its day’ claims Bentley

Sharps Redmore consultant Clive Bentley told the Epuk noise update conference that PPG24 NEC noise categories have had their day.

IoA debates merits of Etsu

A debate on wind turbine noise at last month’s Institute of Acoustics/Association of Noise Consultants’ conference held in Birmingham failed to get past problems with Etsu guidance.

Cuts to hit council spending

Last month’s public spending review has outlined which departments will be cut.

Grugeon arrival prompts further Epuk review

Incoming Epuk chief executive James Grugeon has launched a review of the organisation.

Noise missed out in policy consultation

Epuk has criticised the Government for omitting noise in a discussion document on the natural environment.

Police remove dogs

A North Devon woman has had her dogs seized by police following conviction for breaching a noise abatement notice.

European charges can include noise

EU Ministers have voted in favour of new EU rules to allow member states to charge heavy lorries both for damage to roads but also external environmental costs such as noise and pollution.

Environment costing

The UK National Ecosystem Assessment (UK NEA) is the first analysis of the UK’s natural environment in terms of the benefits it provides to society and continuing economic prosperity. It will report in early 2011. 

Aviation revamp

The Government is to consult on a new aviation policy in 2012.

TCN delayed

Major changes to south east England airspace have been further postponed.

Heart impacts

A study of nearly five million Swiss residents has linked aircraft noise with an increased risk of heart attack.

Casella scraps

Casella CEL is re-running its scrappage scheme for monitors – a ‘new-for-old’ replacement scheme for monitoring instruments.



October 2010 issue 46

Turbine to be silenced?

An operator has failed to turn off a noisy medium-sized wind turbine after being served an enforcement notice.

Appeal fails

A judicial review of an appeal decision which gave the go ahead to the Den Brook Wind Farm has failed.

Quiet surfaces get noisier over time

TRL has reported on the speed at which quiet asphalt surfaces lose performance over time.

Four contracts up for grabs

Despite the current spending freeze, Defra is seeking tenders for four research projects.

Town crier noise put to the test

Monitor firm Cirrus Research used its specialist range of noise measurement equipment to measure the loudest cry at the British Town Crier Championships held in Bridlington, East Yorkshire.

Back to court for Elvington

Elvington Airfield near York is back in the High Court over excess noise.

Sonic crystals tested as noise barriers

Sonic barriers are being tested as part of an EPSRC study.

DfT warns that legislation will be hard to get

DfT’s Iain Forbes told a recent South Yorks Care4Air conference that policies in future are set to change following pronouncements from the incoming coalition Government.

News from Epuk’s wind turbine conference held in Birmingham

Bradford EHO justifies subjective assessment

Bradford EHO Brian Fairclough told the Epuk wind conference held in Birmingham last month how he became embroiled in a planning squabble over a large wind turbine.

More court action over wind

QC Stephen Tromans told the Epuk wind turbine conference of the growing number of legal cases reaching the High Court to do with wind turbines.

Bowdler: noisy, not mysterious

Wind turbine consultant Dick Bowdler claimed that wind turbine noise can be annoying – but isn’t mysterious.

Gas turbine lessons

Experience in dealing with low frequency noise nuisance from gas turbines suggests wind turbine noise assessment criteria may be unsuitable.

Cobbing: wind nuisance prevention is better than cure

ARM’s Colin Cobbing argued that when it comes to wind farms, prevention is better than cure.

Tranquillity benefits outlined

An Epuk report, commissioned by the City of London, has supported the role of open spaces in providing tranquillity and improving the environment in other ways such as air quality.

Strategic planning plea from CPRE

The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) is calling on ministers not to abandon strategic planning in their drive to forward the Government’s localism agenda.

ICBEN comes to London in 2011

The 10th International Congress on Noise as a Public Health Problem will be held between July 24th – 28th 2011 in London, organised by the UK Institute of Acoustics on behalf of the International Commission on the Biological Effects of Noise (ICBEN).

Noise effects lasts into secondary school

London researchers believe that noise impacts on primary school children can last into the teenage years.

Welsh rationalisation

The Welsh Assembly may combine Environment Agency Wales with other environmental bodies.

Scott’s to URS

URS Corporation has bought consultant Scott Wilson Group.

Heathrow pledge

Transport minister Theresa Villiers has ruled out further key changes to Heathrow operations.

MK noise up

Vanguardia director, Jim Griffiths, has won a court battle to significantly change the licence conditions regarding environmental noise at the Milton Keynes Bowl.

Epuk on booze

Epuk has recently responded to a Home Office consultation on proposal

Directive review arrives late

Dutch firm Millieu has carried out a review of the noise directive. Its findings form the basis of what might happen next, finds Lis Stedman

Best practice on construction

A recent Institute of Acoustics meeting offered advice and examples covering approaches to assessing and mitigating construction noise. Lisa Russell reports


Aug/Sept 2010 issue 45

Consistency check for Etsu
The Government has commissioned wind power specialist consultancy Hayes McKenzie to look at turbine noise guidance.

Police use meters
Almost 100 vehicles have had their exhausts tested for excessive noise by Suffolk Police.

Appeal fails but assessment criticised
A High Court appeal against six wind turbines in the Lake District has failed.

Action planning: more delays
Crucial guidance to support English noise action planning has been delayed.

New bosses for Environmental Protection UK
James Grugeon has taken over from Philip Mulligan as Epuk’s chief executive. Mulligan left last month

Defra seeks noise staffer
Defra is advertising for a high level technical advisor for its noise team.

No change for final report
The expert report on environmental noise on health has been released in final form.

Human rights breached by noise problem
The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that an applicant (called Oluic) had her human rights breached by failure to tackled repeated noise.

CIEH gets Kidney
David Kidney, former MP and climate change minister, has been appointed head of policy at the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) following his departure from Parliament in the May general election.

IoA stats
An Institute of Acoustics survey of its members suggests 1800 work in industry, commerce and consultancies, 400 work in the academic sector and 450 work in the public sector.

UK Soundmap launch
The UK Soundmap has been launched promising to form a community-led soundscape of Britain.

TENS vulnerable
Temporary Event Notices (TENS) could be changed in a bid to avoid “relentless form filling, high costs and red tape for organising summer street parties and fetes”.

WHO burden talks
The World Health Organisation is holding a meeting on the burden of disease from environmental noise in Bonn on 14-15 October 2010

Westlakes down
Consultant Westlakes Scientific Consulting has gone into administration.

White Paper excludes noise
The Government has launched ‘informal’ discussions to shape a White Paper on the environment due in Spring 2011. It doesn’t mention noise.

HPA and RCEP go in latest cuts
More quangos have been cut by the incoming government.

Train idling cut
Noisy train idling will be reduced as a result of East Midlands Trains introducing an energy saving mode on its Meridien trains.

Noise and air linked
The Lisbon Internoise conference has included papers on possible linkages and confounding of noise and air quality impacts in urban areas.

Gatwick green plan
The former BAA Gatwick Airport has launched its first sustainability plan as an independent airport.

Internoise: 845 papers!
There were over 800 papers at the massive Internoise conference held in Lisbon. Lisa Russell and Lis Stedman pick over the best bits

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July 2010 issue 44

Heart effects to enter policy?
The UK may be moving closer towards including noise-prompted deaths as input into planning decisions.

Less noise focus for Lacors?
Local authority group Lacors has published A clean bill of health, a guide that summarises for councillors, and other local decision makers, the health effects of pollution and what councils and their partners can do to improve the health of their communities.

Scotland warned on planning for turbines and heat pumps
Responses have been published to a Scottish consultation on extending permitted development rights to domestic wind turbines and heat pumps.

Birmingham airport sets up Google mapping
Residents and businesses located close to, or looking to relocate near Birmingham Airport, can now use Google Earth to find out about its flight paths, noise insulation scheme, air quality monitoring and other environmental programmes the airport offers.

Coalition Budget cuts, further cuts coming
The Government has published details of the £1.166bn local government contribution to the £6.2bn cross-government savings in 2010/11.

Unitaries stopped
Restructuring of councils in Norfolk, Suffolk and Devon has been scrapped.

Wind farm to disturb neighbours?
Lawyers acting for a wind farm in Northumberland have objected to a nearby tourist development claiming that holidaymakers may be subjected to nuisance noise.

Wind affects horse amenity
The British Horse Society suggests wind farms may deter horse tourism.

Casella measures air and noise in Spain
Casella Spain has been selected by the Spanish Traffic Police to participate in a working group assessing noise and air data provided by the instruments included in a month-long trial of roadside monitoring enclosure systems (Romons) under strict motorway testing conditions.

Vuvuzela warning from RNID
RNID is calling on football fans to defend themselves against the risk of temporary tinnitus or permanent hearing damage posed by the noisy vuvuzela plastic trumpets which are popular with South African supporters.

Property prices
A Swedish study has examined the effect of road and railway noise on property prices.

Construction noise
IoA is holding a one day meeting on construction noise and vibration at the British Museum on Wednesday July 14.

No flights increase, says London Assembly
The London Assembly has unanimously called for a ban on any increase in the number of flights operating from BAA’s London airports.

M40 move
A campaign group seeking action to quieten the M40 motorway in the Chiltern reports that it has met the DfT.

More noise please, says NAS
The Noise Abatement Society is commending the “safer-sounding car”.

Consultants suffer as recession bites
The UK environmental consultancy sector contracted by 3.0% in 2009, to stand at £1.36bn, says Environment Analyst.

Infrastructure planning changed again
Reassurance has been offered that planning will become more democratic following confirmation that the Infrastructure Planning Commission will be abolished.

Truck environmental footprints compared
UK and Swiss researchers are trying to establish the environmental footprint of road and rail vehicles and found a significant number of vehicles exceed manufacturing limits, including noise.

Epuk sets up turbine talks In September
Epuk is running a wind turbine conference entitled Where now with wind turbine impact assessment?

2011 Action Week
Epuk has announced that the 2011 Noise Action Week will be held on 23 - 27 May 2011.

Dogs and nuisance
There’s been a spate of reports of environmental health officers going to court over problem dogs. What’s happening, asks Lis Stedman?

Low down on quiet surfaces
Quieter road surfacing materials can prove cost-effective when all the factors including the monetised benefits of noise reduction are taken into account. Lisa Russell reports on recent research and development, including a new more durable material.

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June 2010 issue 43

Etsu under review
The Government is reviewing Etsu wind turbine guidance despite numerous protestations that it remains robust.

Mulligan departs from Epuk
Epuk chief executive Phil Mulligan is to leave the charity.

Government coalition programme lists many changes
The incoming Coalition Government has published a detailed programme for Government. It contains Bills and work programmes for the forthcoming term.

Dogs cause nuisance problems
Officers from Shropshire Council and West Mercia Police have removed 27 dogs from the home of a Shropshire man who was found guilty of failing to prevent them from barking constantly over a three-year period.

Tenant to get rid of noisy dogs
Sheffield City Council has had to go to court to force a woman to get rid of her noisy dogs.

‘Final mission’ for Stansted campaigners
Following the cancellation of plans to expand Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports by the incoming Government, Stop Stansted Expansion has set itself it’s “final mission”.

BAA concedes defeat at Heathrow
Airports authority BAA has formally dropped plans for a third runway at Heathrow following the new Government’s pledge to scrap expansion plans.

Denbighshire refusal overturned
A wind turbine proposal in Denbighshire, which has been in and out of the courts, has been given the green light in the latest development.

Huge 3mw turbines coming?
Alstom has launched the ECO 110 3MW wind turbine – one of the most powerful onshore wind turbines in the world.

Government line up
The incoming Government has completed its ministerial line up. Chris Huhne – MP and vice president of Epuk – has been appointed Secretary of State at the Department for Energy and Climate Change (Decc). Caroline Spelman MP has been appointed Secretary of State for the Environment.

Statement criticised
MP Bob Russell has tabled a Parliamentary Early Day Motion criticising Defra’s recent Noise Policy Statement (Noise Bulletin April p1).

Epuk comments on environment
PPS Epuk has replied to a consultation on a new Planning Policy Statement (PPS), Planning for a Natural and Healthy Environment.

Noise call?
The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution has invited comments on a list of topics being considered for its next major study (its 30th).

Ash cloud silence studied
The ash cloud prompted shutdown of UK airspace, allowing a once-in-a-lifetime natural experiment to see what would happen if noise from aircraft was eliminated overnight. Lis Stedman reports

Westminster gets a strategy
A pioneering noise strategy has been introduced in Westminster. Lisa Russell takes a look at the measures it introduces

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May 2010 issue 42

3m have noisy neighbours
Epuk has recently concluded yet another successful Noise Action Week.

Stop press: runways
There will be no new runways at Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted, the incoming Coalition Government has agreed in an environmental statement.

Information laws reveal turbine nuisance
A turbine pressure group has been systematically serving freedom of information notices on local authorities to find out about wind turbine nuisance complaints.

Noise sinks Matlock appeal
Five wind turbines have been rejected at appeal near Matlock in Derbyshire. Noise was a key part in the dismissal.

Health effects cited in Humber appeal
Health effects at a single household have overcome an appeal for seven wind turbines at Flixborough, near Scunthorpe.

Huhne takes key ministry post in coalition
As Noise Bulletin was going to press,  Libdem MP Chris Huhne has been chosen as Energy and Climate Change Secretary. Caroline Spelman has been appointed as environment secretary.

Ash prompts tranquillity bonus
The grounding of aircraft because of ash from the Icelandic volcano left the UK with deserted airspace.

Stevens wins Institute of Acoustics medal
Mary Stevens, noise policy officer at Environmental Protection UK, has received the IOA Award for Promoting Acoustics to the Public.

European progress fragmented
Irish researchers have found large differences in the way noise levels are calculated and geographically mapped in Europe. They call for more standardised and clearer guidelines.

Annoyance predictors listed
Serbian researchers have carried out a study to consider what are the mean predictors of noise annoyance.

Turbine index proposed
A scoring system could help authorities approve proposals for onshore wind plants.

Nuisance change
Defra and the Welsh Assembly Government have issued guidance on how the statutory nuisance regime should be enforced at premises regulated by environmental permitting legislation.

Work continues on reducing tyre noise
Epuk is to manage a two year project to push the concept of quieter tyres. It has funds for a two year project to implement and manage the national campaign for cleaner, quieter tyres.

50 mph limit improves environment
Dutch consultancy CE Delft has shown dramatic environmental benefits from a 50mph motorway speed limit.

Protesters claim Heathrow win
Protesters say they did win a High Court case on Heathrow.

Europe adopts cleaner vehicle strategy
Europe has adopted a cleaner vehicle strategy.

Germans link aircraft noise to health effects
The German Environment Agency (UBA) has compared noise complaints and illness around Cologne-Bonn airport.

Webtrak for Madrid
Madrid Airport now has an interactive Webtrak service.

Insulation aids climate
A Dutch local authority has combined airport sound insulation measures with climate change impacts to increase the benefit.

Greener transport
Greener vehicles pollute less – but the rise in traffic is counteracting any benefits, the European Environment Agency claims in its latest Transport and Environment Reporting Mechanism (TERM) report.

Feature: Experts tackle motorsport noise
Several working groups are seeking to develop new guidelines for assessing motorsports noise amid calls for more research to identify what aspects of the sounds cause annoyance. Lisa Russell reports

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April 2010 headlines (issue 41)

Defra sets out noise policy
Defra has released a policy statement in lieu of a noise strategy for England.

Use development plans to separate turbines
Local authorities should use their development plans to set out separation distances between housing and turbines.

Elvington rematch
The hotly fought motorsport noise nuisance battle between York City Council and Elvington Airfield is going to the High Court.

Defra consultancy budget cuts
Defra says it will deliver £194 million of savings, as its departmental contribution towards £11bn savings that are being made across Government.

Tool suggested to describe urban noise
New research has identified 25 variables that influence noise in urban areas. By combining these into an equation, a new study has proposed a tool to describe urban sound environments that could be useful in urban planning.

Etsu under fire once again
Two more turbine schemes have been turned down further undermining Etsu noise assessment guidelines.

Big wind nuisance claim: particulars laid
The Statement of Claim has been made public in what could prove to be a pivotal test case on nuisance law for big wind turbines.

Planning shake up for PPG17
Guidance is being consolidated as part of a plan to streamline existing planning policy guidance.

Probe into London City Airport expansion
The London Assembly’s Environment Committee has launched an investigation into the environmental impacts of the expansion of London City Airport.

Heathrow knocked by High Court challenge
London councils and pressure groups have won a Judicial Review on the legality of plans to expand Heathrow.

No blanket exemption
Epuk says it does not want a blanket exemption for live music events for 100 people or less.

Amec takes Entec
Construction firm Amec has taken over consultancy Entec for £61m.

Stigwood be heard
The High Court has allowed a Nottinghamshire householder to appeal a judgement that prevented him from complaining about noise and odour nuisance from the adjacent pub.

Landlord toolkit
DCLG has released a toolkit for social landlords aimed at tackling anti social behaviour including noise.

Petition duties
Local authorities have been given guidance on their duties to react to petitions. From June 15th the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 requires councils to have regard to community petitions provided they are not covering areas such as planning or licensing where the public are already considered to have had their say.

EIA updates
Defra has updated guidance for environmental impact assessments including a Wider Environmental Impact Test and Sustainable Development Impact Test.

Daventry cuts
Daventry District Council will save £16,000 a year by cutting its out-of-hours service for day-to-day environmental health issues.

CIEH omits noise
The CIEH has published a public health manifesto for the General Election which mentions air quality, climate change and other public health issues, but not noise.

Heart risk found
Slovak researchers say they have found a link between noise levels and cardiovascular (heart) risk.

Blood pressure up
Taiwan researchers have studied 60 adults and found that environmental noise exposure leads to higher blood pressure – especially among young females.

Further detail on quiet deliveries
We revisit the issue of quiet deliveries from the viewpoint of TRL which has produced a look at some of the detail

Feature: Statement in lieu of policy
England was promised a noise strategy a decade ago. Defra has dithered and dithered and it now hopes that a Noise Policy Statement is better than nothing. Jack Pease offers his opinion

Feb/March 2010 headlines (issue 40)

Bradford turbine win
Bradford Council has succeeded in defending an appeal against its decision to refuse planning permission for a large wind turbine on noise grounds.

Camera enforcement
Victoria Government in Australia is using cameras to catch noisy trucks.

NPSs are in
Epuk has warned that the first round of draft National Policy Statements are inconsistent and offer weak protection for the local environment. The Royal Town Planning Institute claims they are not fit for purpose.

IoA defends Etsu guidelines
Incoming Institute of Acoustics president Trevor Cox has defended Etsu wind turbine guidelines.

Concerns aired on microwind
The Institute of Acoustics has warned that relaxing planning controls on micro wind generation could lead to increased nuisance complaints and noise abatement notices.

NHS cautions on wind
An NHS review has cautioned that a recent report on wind turbine health effects cannot be taken as gospel.

£1000 dog fine
A Lincoln resident has been fined more than £1,000 after breaching a noise abatement notice served on her for dogs that barked for 40 minutes out of 45.

Muted praise for English plans
Defra’s summary of responses to its consultation on noise action plans in England has been released.

Scotland goes firm on noise guidance
Scotland has released final guidance on noise management areas and quiet areas.

Noise simulator wins Dutch award
Sensibel, the Royal Haskoning noise simulator, is one of three nominees for the ‘Ei van Columbus’ Dutch award for sustainable innovations.

Cuts could put strain on environment
Council budget cuts would threaten local environmental quality, Epuk has warned.

Research downer
Defra has set out its research priorities for the forthcoming three years.

Directive not reviewed
Epuk has been told by the European Commission that the planned review of the noise directive is being delayed.

Infrasound okay
The independent Advisory Group on Non-Ionising Radiation (AGNIR), which reports to the Health Protection Agency, has reviewed the latest scientific evidence on the health effects of ultrasound (frequencies above 20 kilohertz) and infrasound (below 20 Hz).

Another Heathrow challenge
Councils and pressure groups have joined forces to challenge the decision to expand Heathrow Airport.

Heathrow conditions not fit for purpose
A report by the London Assembly has examined the environmental conditions placed on Heathrow Airport as a condition for expansion. It wants a “fundamental change” to the conditions describing them as “not fit for purpose”.

AEF: Noise action plans a sham
Airport noise action plans will fail to tackle impacts on local communities, an Aviation Environment Federation study has found.

Barrier pollution
US researchers have looked at the impact of noise barriers on road pollution.

ISO airport advice
A new standard, is aimed at regulators, professionals and researchers to reduce noise in the vicinity of airports.

Steeper glides
Hacan Clearskies has once again highlighted the growing area of influence of planes using Heathrow Airport.

Conditions scrutinised
Inclusion of amplitude modulation requirements for two recently-approved windfarms raises issues about the use of planning conditions, says Lisa Russell

Delivering peace and quiet
Lis Stedman takes a snapshot view of councils facing a new initiative to push quiet night time deliveries

January 2010 headlines (issue 39)

Etsu drafts reveal secrets

A response to a heavily contested Freedom of Information request claims to reveal that the Government suppressed warnings that wind turbines designed to Etsu guidelines would cause noise nuisance. l 

Wind farm consented: tough conditions

The hotly-fought Den Brook wind farm in Devon has been approved at planning appeal – albeit with many conditions.l

Scots turbine noise

Scotland appears close to adopting similar noise restrictions on wind turbines and heat pumps as in England.l Permitted development rights: Domestic wind turbines and air source heat pumps can be viewed on

Live music – more complaints

Proposals to allow pubs and bars to put on live music without the need for a licence could lead to a massive increase in noise problems, council leaders have warned.

Turbine noise not harmful

An expert panel review of wind turbine noise, brought together by the North American wind industry, has concluded that noise isn’t a problem. l Wind turbine sound and health effects: An expert panel review can be viewed on the association websites

Noise from off-road motorbike events

Lacors is seeking feedback on motorbike event noise nuisance. l Any comments please email cassandra.harrison@lacors.

IPC starts to list applications

Details of applications for major projects are beginning to appear on the Infrastructure Planning Commission’s website. l Infrastructure Planning Commission website

Online monitoring scheme on offer

Online noise monitoring is now possible as Brüel & Kjær has developed a high-speed, web-browser functionality for its family of hand-held analysers. l

Free calibration!

Campbell Associates is offering to “calibrate your calibrator” free of charge when it is sent in with a sound level meter for calibration. The offer is valid for equipment sent in before the end of February 2010 with promotion code CAL-C2. l More details

Wind turbine separation distances discussed

A House of Commons library report has analysed the issue of wind farm noise and separation distances.l Wind farms – Distance from housing 

Barking fine

A Rochdale man has been fined £450 after ignoring warnings to keep the noise down in his house 

Royal Napier win

Edinburgh Napier University has been awarded the Queens Anniversary prize for its research on noise insulation.

Motorsport meet

The Institute of Acoustics is holding a motorsport noise meeting at Silverstone on March 18th. It will explore the need to balance car enthusiasts’ expectation of hearing vehicles roaring along the track with the needs of neighbouring residents. l 

Sentinel launch

Brüel and Kjær has released Noise Sentinel, an internet based subscription service for urban and industrial noise monitoring. l Doug Manvell, B&K, email:

December 2009 headlines (issue 38)

Heat pump ‘unneighbourly’
Permission to retain a heat pump has been turned down at appeal – just days before the Government relaxed planning rules on home generation.

l Email jackpease at  for a copy of the decision

Lawyers raise microwind planning fears
A planning lawyer has warned that removing the need to get planning permission for wind turbines could lead to problems down the line.

Freedom to expose Etsu
As Noise Bulletin went to press, the inspector at the Den Brook wind farm planning inquiry is due to deliver a view on new turbines. Protesters are also expecting to hear damning evidence through a freedom information request

45db chosen, 100s of complaints expected
A 45dBLAeq 5min noise limit is proposed in relation to both domestic and non-domestic installations of wind turbines and air source heat pumps. Councils can expect to field hundreds of complaints, admits the government.

l Permitted development rights for small scale renewable and low carbon energy technologies, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure

3rd runway ok: #1
The Committee on Climate Change believes a third runway at Heathrow, which will allow UK aviation to expand by 10%, is compatible with targets to reduce CO2.

l Meeting the UK aviation target – options for reducing emissions to 2050 Committee on Climate Change

3rd runway ok: #2
MPs have also failed to come out against a third runway at Heathrow. They don’t back a second runway at Stansted – but do think expansion at Gatwick is justified.

l House of Commons Transport Committee: The future of aviation, First Report of Session 2009–10 can be viewed on

WHO: loosening or toughening?
Two consultants set out how they believe the WHO night noise guidelines change guidance

Hunt pushed on Etsu
Epuk is not accepting a refusal from Government to consider revising Etsu. Decc minister Lord Hunt last month told Epuk it would not change Etsu which is criticised for failing to properly reflect annoyance from wind turbines.

Wind shear alternative to Etsu method
Energy consultancy TNEI Services has devised its own method of tackling wind turbine noise.


Complaints fall in Northern Ireland
A new report has revealed that noise complaints in Northern Ireland have fallen by 5% over the past year.

l Noise: Complaint Statistics for Northern Ireland 2008/09 can be viewed on

Noise action 2010
Noise Action Week 2010 will take place on 26th to 30th April. International Noise Action Day is on the 28th April.

l website

Live music review
A proposed consultation on an entertainment licensing exemption for live music is expected to be published soon.

Etsu e-petition
An petition has been set up on the Number 10 Downing Street website calling for changes to Etsu wind turbine guidance.


Where’s the review?
Epuk has written to Europe seeking progress on the review of the noise directive.

Assembly on H’row 3
The London Assembly is holding an inquiry investigating whether “environmental conditions on possible expansion at Heathrow airport, which could lead to an extra 220,000 flights each year, are sufficient to deal with concerns about noise, air quality and climate change”. It will make an assessment of the proposed conditions.

l webcast online at:

Euronoise report
Our first of a two part report into the IoA-organised Euronoise conference


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November 2009 headlines (issue 37)

WHO: 40dBA outside
The World Health Organisation has finally published its night noise recommendations.

l WHO Night Noise Guidelines 2009

GLA policy outed
The GLA is seeking consultants to carry out its noise policy work.

Regs prove hot
Quite by chance, a seemingly routine change to noise regulations has led to a fierce debate in Parliament.

Etsu “sticking plaster” slammed
An agreement to improve Etsu is simply a sticking plaster, claims a consultant.

BWEA blames nimbys for wind delays
The British Wind Energy Association claims that wind farm planning approvals by local councils slumped to “a record new low of 25%”.

Amplitude modulation is real
Further claims have been made that the phenomena of amplitude modulation is being underestimated.

Den Brook in court
A four day public inquiry into a disputed wind farm in Devon has been held.

l Closing submissions

Turbine distance plea
An MP has tabled a bill intended to insist on minimum distances between wind farms and housing. It has no chance of being adopted.

Wider transport costs laid out
The Government has spelled out the wider costs of transport in urban areas. The work feeds into the government’s recent The future of urban transport policy statement.

l The wider costs of transport in English urban areas in 2009 can be viewed on

Aviation plans ‘not fit for purpose’
Epuk has studied a number of aviation noise action plans produced by airport authorities

TRL noise topics
TRL has brought out a ‘current topics’ report on noise.

l CT21.5 Noise and vibration from traffic – update (2008-2009) is available from TRL price £30

Police crackdown on noise Fife boy racers
Fife Constabulary continues to crack down on noisy boy racers.

Much delayed strategy now loses date
The Government is no longer saying when or if it will deliver a noise strategy.

Aircon plans draw fire
Organisations have lashed out at plans to deregulate planning permission for air conditioning units

First policy statements out
The first National Planning Statements (NPS) have been issued by the Infrastructure Planning Commission.

Sheffield goes nightly
Sheffield City Council has launched a nightly ‘Noisebuster’ complaints service following a trial.

Airspace delay
Stop Stansted Expansion reports that National Air Traffic Services (NATS) has postponed plans to change flight paths and aircraft stacking areas across East Anglia.

Scotland noisier?
Scottish ministers say that new noise laws have prompted a rise in noise complaints. A Euronoise report will appear in a future NB.

New cans muzzle speedway din
British motorsport specialist manufacturer Prodrive has developed a new exhaust silencer which should help keep speedway quiet.


Restaurant convicted in Elmbridge
An East Molesey steak house owner has pleaded guilty to three breaches of a noise abatement notice.

Thurrock action
In separate Magistrates’ Court actions by Thurrock Council. a man and a woman were prosecuted for failing to comply with a noise abatement notice.

Weedon back
Former UKNA chief Val Weedon is back at work in noise campaigning.


Airports show rise
Noise has risen at some London airports.

l Noise exposure contours and reports for Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted

Glastonbury quiet?
The Glastonbury Festival noise arrangements have been considered a success, a report to Mendip councillors suggests.

€1m multi centre health research starts
Queen Mary College London is hosting a meeting signalling the start of the one million euro ENNAH (European Network on Noise And Health) project.

Action plan consultation closes
Defra has received approximately 150 responses to its consultation on action planning

Dozens of awards at 2009 noise ‘Oscars’
The John Connell Awards 2009 has seen a record number of awards handed out to those making special efforts to reduce noise.


European exposure
The European Environment Agency has produced a map of European noise exposure. It aims to reveal the extent to which European citizens are exposed to excessive noise pollution.

l The database is on

Chartered Sharps
Clive Bentley and Kieran Gayler, of Sharps Redmore Partnership, have both recently been successful in obtaining Chartered Environmentalist status.


DfT on tyres
Defra is consulting on transposition of new European labelling rules on tyres.

l Consultation on regulations to control the sale and installation of replacement tyres on motor vehicles

Can soundscapes help out?
Lis Stedman report from a major conference on soundscapes. Is the project simply a £1m gravy train for academics, or are there practical benefits?

London looks at tranquillity
A conference held last month looked at many different approaches to increasing provision of the tranquil spaces that give people a little respite from busy urban life. Lisa Russell reports.

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October 2009 headlines (issue 36)

England: airport action plans
Our feature on action plans and action plan

M40 noise assessed ....
A residents group has polled 1,000 householders near the M40 in a bid to assess the impact of motorway noise. It supports a submission under the Sustainable Communities Act


... and used as early case for new act
The M40 issues (see above) are being used to support an application to Government under the Sustainable Communities Act by Wycombe and South Oxfordshire councils. It is one of the first submissions under the act – almost certainly the first on noise.


Flawed planning?
Plans to deregulate planning laws for air conditioning units on commercial properties maybe flawed.

l DCLG’s consultation Improving permitted development can be viewed on

Transport leaflets
Epuk has produced a series of information leaflets, sponsored by Defra and the devolved regions. A copy is included with this newsletter.

l Leaflets arewill also be available from

Wording of notices: be specific
A High Court judgement is likely to lead to changes in the wording of noise abatement notices.

Hunt: We will not change ETSU
Epuk’s plea to the Government for a review of Etsu guidance on wind turbines has been bluntly rejected.

Epuk responds on noise and health report
Epuk has put together a scathing response to the Health Protection Agency’s report on noise and health.

Noisy roads cause stress
Noisy roads tend to cause stress among the middle aged, Swedish researchers suggest.

Norsonic helps ‘no-nonsense’ Preston
Award winning Preston City Council has found that zero tolerance towards noise related anti-social behaviour has led to a reduction in noise complaints, seizures and prosecutions.

Dramatic cuts from new surface
The London Borough of Hillingdon has witnessed dramatic noise reductions following resurfacing of the A40 in West London.

Stansted residents complain of low planes
Stansted residents have complained about new take-off procedures that leave planes lower and noisier for longer. A new early morning flight is also causing particular annoyance.

Airport action plan data questioned
Stansted campaigners also claim that noise action plans contain incorrect data. They say Stansted’s action plan draft fails to provide a common approach for the numbers of people and dwellings affected by aircraft.

Overflown boroughs revealed
Analysis by aircraft protest group Hacan confirms that Hounslow is the most ‘overflown’ London borough – but east London boroughs also come high up the list.

Heathrow in court
A group of councils opposed to Heathrow expansion have been given leave to challenge the Government’s decision to support a third runway at Heathrow.

Lobby group rapped on airport claim
An advert claiming a third runway at Heathrow will not make the airport dirtier or noisier has been ruled “misleading” by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

New man at Defra
Former waste strategy guru Daniel Instone is joining Defra to look after environment issues, perhaps including noise.

Euronoise nears
The huge Euronoise conference in Edinburgh is looming. Organisers have now finalised the programme that will see hundreds of speakers and several hundred delegates converge on Edinburgh to talk about noise. The conference, organised by the IoA and Bernard Berry, runs from 26th-28th October.

Film evidence?
The campaign group Hacan has released a short film which aims to show that aircraft noise is not confined to West London and the areas around Heathrow.


Planning Act rules
A number of guidance documents have been published as part of the 2008 Planning Act shake up.

l Planning Act 2008: Guidance on pre-application consultation and other guidance

Beaks’ sentencing
A revised version of the Magistrates’ guidance Costing the Earth has been released.

l Costing the Earth

Nuisance on the rise
Reports of neighbour disturbance have risen by a third in two years, reversing 10 years of improving relations.

BB takes PB
UK construction group Balfour Beatty has taken over US-based consultant Parsons Brinckerhoff.

Airport action plan links

Aberdeen Airport:

Belfast International Airport:

Birmingham Airport:

Blackpool Airport

Bournemouth Airport:

Bristol Airport:

East Midlands Airport

Edinburgh Airport:

Gatwick Airport:

Glasgow Airport:

Heathrow Airport

Liverpool John Lennon Airport:

London City Airport:

London Luton Airport

(click on ‘Draft noise action plan consultation’ tab)

Leeds Bradford Airport: NAP not available

Manchester Airport:

Newcastle Airport:

Southampton Airport:

Stansted Airport:

Southend Airport, Shoreham Airport, Coventry Airport (none classed as major airports), no information found on websites.

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August/September 2009 headlines (issue 35)

England: action at last?
Defra has released draft action plans for England (news plus feature).

Wind farm attracts private nuisance claim
A homeowner living near the Lincolnshire Deeping St Nicholas wind farm is launching a private nuisance action in the High Court.

Hinton ‘retires’
John Hinton (OBE) is taking early retirement from Birmingham City Council after nearly 36 years of service.

Nimbyism not to blame
An ESRC funded project has concluded that it is a mistake to blame nimbyism (not in my back yard syndrome) for refusal of projects, for instance wind farms.

l Beyond NIMBYism can be viewed on

Report confirms turbine weaknesses
The Energy Savings Trust has studied the potential market for domestic wind turbines and found there are likely to be far fewer than originally thought.

l Location location location – The Energy Saving Trust’s field trial report on domestic wind turbines

Barnet succeeds against church
The London Borough of Barnet has succeeded in getting an injunction against a 50-child school operating at a home.

Enforcement change
Defra and the Welsh Government are consulting on changes to environmental enforcement policy.


Air action plans
Many airport draft action plans have been published. The plans follow guidance released earlier in the year.

Research calls
Defra recently sought tenders for two items of research.

MPs suggest air curbs
MPs on the Commons Transport Committee say a third runway at Heathrow should come with conditions to protect quiet areas.

l Transport Committee – Fifth Report The use of airspace can be viewed on

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July 2009 headlines (issue 34)

Noisiest councils ranked

Perhaps the most comprehensive picture yet of noise nuisance across the UK has emerged thanks to noise insulation supplier Rockwool.

MPs on licensing

MPs have called for pubs and clubs to be allowed more temporary event notices (TENs) despite concerns that they can be abused and lead to a noise nuisance.
l The Licensing Act 2003 Sixth Report of Session 2008–09 can be viewed on

Pinning down noise costs
An expert group has attempted to cost the health effects of noise. While they have struggled to monetise many impacts, for heart attacks they suggest that high ambient noise exposure can increase risk by as much as 50%.

l Estimating dose-response relationships between noise exposure and human health in the UK can be viewed on

Ad hoc expert group produce ad hoc report on noise
An expert group has finished its draft review of noise.

l Environmental noise and health in the UK – draft for comment can be viewed on

Regs elicit mixed response
Defra has released responses to its consultation on amending the noise regulations.

l Defra’s summation of consultation responses (ie not the actual responses), and Defra’s response to the responses, can be viewed on

Environment consultants suffer in the slump
Environmental consultants have been ranked in a new in-depth survey carried out by Environment Analyst Publishing & Research.

l Market assessment of the UK environmental consulting sector 2009 is available to Environment Analyst’s Market Intelligence Service customers via the website,

Best and worst cars ranked
The Environmental Transport Association has named and shamed the best and worst cars in terms of their environmental impact (including pollution and noise).


Post note on noise
The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology has released a briefing note on noise.

l It can be viewed on www. IoA freezes fees The Institute of Acoustics has agreed to freeze membership fees for 2010.

Act inadequate
Epuk and Lacors have expressed concern at the “inadequate protection for local communities” in the 2008 Planning Act.

Conditions for music noise
Speakers and delegates at a recent IoA meeting highlighted the difficulties of agreeing appropriate conditions for managing music noise from licensed premises.

Vehicles: measuring nuisance
Manufacturers boast that vehicles are getting quieter. That ignores what their owners do to them.

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June 2009 headlines (issue 33)

Wind turbine silenced
Vale of White Horse District Council has silenced a domestic wind turbine.

Defra plans draw criticism
Groups have criticised Defra proposals to amend the Environmental Noise Directive (Noise Bulletin April p1).

Care home refused
A care home in Kent has been refused at appeal because of road noise. Lacors flowcharts Lacors has produced two flowcharts to help local authorities assess noise from licensed premises. The flowcharts show the interaction between the EPA and the Licensing Act. Guidance may be produced to clarify problems of noise from within premises, and noise from outside.

l Lacors website

Lawyers urge wind review
Wind farm projects in the pipeline should be urgently reviewed to see if they are likely to cause a nuisance.


New research centre includes noise brief
A joint environment centre has been set up to focus research on the environment, including noise.
l website

Construction group to study sea noise
Construction research group Ciria wants to study above-ocean noise. l

Night is right
The Freight Transport Association and the Noise Abatement Society have signed a memorandum of understanding to work together on quieter night time deliveries.

Renfrewshire ‘loses’ rail case
Renfrewshire Council has lost an appeal against an abatement notice – but says it has succeeded in improving the noise climate.

UKNA criticises Hyde Housing Association
The UK Noise Association has backed a tenant who claims he is being penalised for complaining about noisy neighbours.

EU noise climate
A report summarises noise exposure across Europe.

l Transport at a crossroads. TERM 2008: indicators tracking transport and environment in the EU

Planners told
Northern Ireland planners have been told that greater weight will be given in the future, where appropriate, to the economic consideration of planning proposals.

Traffic disturbance increases
Epuk has revealed survey findings that suggest people are increasingly annoyed by traffic noise.

Elmbridge update
Elmbridge has updated its noise website to coincide with Noise Action Week. Elmbridge has partnered up with Mediation North Surrey and have issued ten top tips to think about when considering neighbours. It has also commissioned a short video produced by a trained mediator explaining the mediation process.

l Elmbridge’s noise website can be found on

World class places
New guidance aims to set out why and how quality of place matters and the practical steps the Government will be taking to improve things.

l World class places: The Government’s strategy for improving quality of place

Aircraft noise spreads far across London
To coincide with the imminent publication by BAA of its noise action plan for Heathrow, protest group Hacan has restated its view that plane noise will disturb residents further out in areas many miles from the airport.


Stansted stalling criticised
Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has condemned as outrageous a request by BAA for the Public Inquiry into its plans for a second Stansted runway to be put on hold for what could turn out to be a period of three years.

l The leaflet can be viewed on

Councils call for new Heathrow watchdog
Councils opposed to Heathrow expansion say a powerful new regulator is needed to enforce proposed new environmental standards for airports.

l The Government’s consultation document Reforming the framework for the economic regulation of UK airports is available at

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May 2009 headlines (issue 32)

Nuisance wins damages
A court has ruled that restrictive leases do not override the right for residents near Cambridge to complain about noise nuisance.

Charnwood secures ASBO on dog owner
A dog owner has been issued with an Asbo after her barking pets caused noise nuisance and distress to neighbours.

Atkins wins Defra cost benefit probe
Atkins Acoustics, Noise and Vibration has recently been awarded a contract by Defra to undertake a study of environmental noise valuation and in particular a cost and benefit analysis (CBA) of remediation measures.

Wind lobby rapped for misleading claims
A ‘mythbuster’ newsletter aimed at clarifying wind farm impacts has itself been exposed as a myth.

l The adjudication can be viewed on

Air quality distorts noise results
Impacts of noise have been inadequately controlled for in air quality studies, Imperial researcher Lars Jarup told an Institute of Environment and Health conference last month.

New study links noise and air
A US study has tried to establish how noise and air quality interacts to affect health.

l The spatial relationship between traffic-generated air pollution and noise in two US cities, R Allen et al, Environmental Research 2009, April, Vol. 109 (3): 334-42.

Heathrow: challenge lodged
13 organisations have joined together to challenge the Government’s decision to expand Heathrow.


Open rotors: less fuel, more noise?
Fears are growing that a technology designed to improve aircraft fuel consumption could cause more noise.

Airspace rejigged following consultation
Plans to rejig flightpaths north of London are to be rethought.

Airport round up
Stansted campaigners say recent traffic forecasts reduce the case even further for expansion at the airport.

Ecotowns concerns?
Epuk has responded to the consultation on the draft planning policy statement on ecotowns.

PPS 4 consultation
DCLG is consulting on combining all national planning policy on economic development in urban and rural areas and town centres into one consolidated and streamlined Planning Policy Statement (PPS).

l Planning Policy Statement – Consultation paper on a new Planning Policy Statement 4: Planning for prosperous economies can be viewed on

Epuk welcomes tyre approval
Epuk has welcomed the European Parliament’s industry committee vote for a comprehensive labelling system for tyres.

Tyre benefits
In support of the impact assessment published with the consultation on noise limits on tyres, TRL has reviewed the monetised benefits of proposed limit values for noise.

l TRL Report PPR 394 (An examination of the monetised benefit of proposed changes to type approved noise limits for tyres) is available from TRL Library

Road lobby call
The European road lobby is asking member states to ensure that cost effective measures are used for noise reduction.

l The ERF – IRF BPC position paper may be viewed online at

Mapping release
There has been a new release of Woefel’s IMMI noise and air pollution mapping software.

l Further details from Woefel’s website:

Rich pickings likely from data mountain
Defra has launched a public consultation on the INSPIRE Directive.


Research plans set out by Defra
Defra has released its 2009/10 noise and nuisance research newsletter.

l Noise and Nuisance Research Newsletter can be viewed on

Edinburgh to host huge Euronoise meeting
One of the biggest international conferences on noise in Europe will take place later this year in Edinburgh.

l Euronoise 2009, 26-28th October 2009. For more information visit

Road decision upheld
A High Court ruling that a council was responsible for noise on a public road has been upheld.

Chopper advice
Wandsworth Council has released a helpful leaflet aimed at explaining helicopter noise to residents near Battersea Heliport.


Tranquillity priced
A new document reports on attempts to monetise the impacts of transport schemes on visual amenity, tranquillity and recreation.

l Valuing transport’s impact on the natural landscape:

Temple chills
Consultant Temple has been appointed to study the noise impacts of new efforts to cool the London Underground.


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April 2009 headlines (issue 31)

Consultancy review
We asked consultants for their views on the acoustics market and publish the findings, and rank the firms active in this market

Turbines turned down
Noise is a key factor in the rejection of Dover wind farm on appeal. This is one of two important wind farm appeal decisions this month (see also news p3)

Second turbine turned down in Shipdham
More turbines have been refused at appeal in Norfolk. Again, it appears deficiencies in official ETSU impact guidance are to blame.

Regs consultation confirms Defra U-turn
A consultation on changes to noise regulations in England confirms that Defra is abandoning centralised listing of quiet areas.

l Consultation on proposed amendments to the Environmental Noise (England) Regulations 2006

Wardens start
The first community wardens in Scotland to target noise nuisance in addition to their other duties took to the beat last month in East Renfrewshire.

Felixstowe felons felt
The anti-social use of vehicles in Felixstowe is to be targeted as part of an enforcement campaign.

News from the EPUK spring workshop held in Warwick

Defra’s thinking set out
Defra advisor Stephen Turner updated Epuk workshop delegates on progress towards meeting the European Environmental Noise Directive.

Death numbers decided but not released
A noise and health study carried out for Defra was outlined to the Epuk spring workshop.

Nail in coffin for small wind?
“The national wind map is almost completely useless in urban areas,”, Matthew Rhodes of Encraft told Epuk delegates.

Flindell finds flaws in costing methods
Conventional costing of noise impacts using house prices may underestimate the value of nuisance.

Small wind lobby lashes out
The small wind turbine lobby has lashed out at Defra claiming it is holding back the market.

ARM completes turbine nuisance probe
ARM Acoustics has finished collating data as part of a Defra project to produce a methodology and guidance for assessment of nuisance due to noise from wind farms.

Pitt lined up for IPC chair
Sir Michael Pitt is lined up to chair the Infrastructure Planning Commission. The Commission is being created as part of the Planning Act shake-up that will see major projects decided by the Commission rather than public inquiries.

l Pitt’s grilling can be viewed on

Act: things might get missed
“Things might get missed,” warned Richard Atkinson of the Planning Aid Service, telling Epuk spring workshop delegates about the new Planning Act regime.

Beat the slump
Norsonic claims it is doing its bit to ease the credit crunch by cutting costs and down time associated with calibrating audiometer equipment.


Scott Wilson grows
Scott Wilson says it is expanding. It has appointed Miles Woolley as principal acoustics consultant, Heather Billin as a technician and Jorge D’Avillez as a research engineer.


Landscape: noise not mentioned
Natural England is consulting on a draft policy for landscapes. It doesn’t mention noise, quiet areas or tranquillity.

l All landscapes matter consultation can be viewed on www.naturalengland.

Stansted delay
Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has welcomed the decision by Government to postpone the start of the Public Inquiry into BAA’s plans for a second Stansted runway which had been due to start on 15 April.

Heart impacts in Sweden
More research has been published linking noise and heart attacks.

Parliament Office starts noise probe
The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) is carrying out a probe into noise pollution.


Lobby groups tyred of delays
Epuk has welcomed the new EU regulation on tyre safety – which addresses noise, and for the first time, rolling resistance.

Urban noise studied
A research project has studied the impact of traffic measures on urban noise in Dublin.

Going unitary
A handful of authorities are going unitary from 1st of April.

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Feb/March 2009 headlines (issue 30)

Injunction for race track
The High Court says that noise sufferers can get an injunction against Croft Circuit for excess noise.

Scots also delay turbine relaxation
Scotland has followed England by allowing domestic technologies such as solar panels to be installed without planning permission. And like England, they have deferred a decision on domestic wind turbines and air source heat pumps.

Surveys gauge noise opinions
A trio of noise statistics have been released in Northern Ireland and England.

l Northern Ireland noise stats can be downloaded from
l Northern Ireland environmental statistics report can be downloaded from
l CIEH stats can be viewed on:

Planning Act lets Heathrow off the hook?
New consultation is adding detail to huge changes to the planning system resulting from the 2008 Planning Act.


Stansted Inquiry
A preliminary hearing has taken place as part of the Planning Inquiry for the expansion of Stansted Airport.


Trucks cause damage
Lorries cause far more environmental damage and congestion than previously thought, claims European green lobby group T&E.

l Are trucks taking their toll?

Salford forced to reveal sources
The Renewable Energy Foundation (REF), a body highly sceptical about the benefits of wind turbines, has used the Freedom of Information Act to force Salford University to reveal its sources.

l Web:

Bristol tries new style consultation
Bristol is developing new approaches to consultation as it sets out to seek public opinion on how road traffic noise affects their lives.

l The main page for the noise consultation is

Heathrow Airport
Six pages on the Heathrow decision

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January 2009 headlines (issue 29)

3rd runway for Heathrow
Expansion of Heathrow airport will be supported by the Government despite widespread opposition on noise, air quality and climate change grounds.


Bristol flat appeal allowed despite objections
Student flats have been allowed on appeal despite Bristol City Council’s objections that future residents will be disturbed by nightclub noise.

Official: all noise and no action
In the largest, most rigorous study to date, building mounted turbines appear to produce on average less than 1% of their rated power.

l The trial results are available

Epuk welcomes tyre consultation
In a new consultation, the DfT has given its support for lower rolling resistance and lower noise tyres, as set out in the EU proposal for regulation concerning type-approval requirements for the safety of motor vehicles.

l More details of the consultation, see feature page six & DfT website

Little impact if speed limits are enforced
Intelligent speed controls on vehicles would have little impact on noise, a report cla

l More details can be found on website

Impacts assessed
Defra has commissioned research on noise and environmental impact assessment (EIA).


Farnborough grows?
Owner of Farnborough Airport TAG Aviation has tabled plans to develop it into a civil airport. Its new voluntarily-produced master plan sets out its plans to apply to Rushmoor District Council for permission to expand to 50,000 annual business air traffic movements.


MOD claims reports
There has been a sharp increase in compensation claims made to the Ministry of Defence for low flying aircraft damage. 244 claims were made in 2007/08 compared to 175 in the previous year.

l net/AboutDefence/CorporatePublications/FinanceandProcurementPublications/Claims/

Exeter for Hitchcock
The University of Exeter has appointed Dr Guy Hitchcock as the new head of its Centre for Energy and the Environment replacing Dr Trevor Preist.

Kings Cross monitoring for English Cogger
The English Cogger Partnership is installing long term, remote noise monitoring equipment at the long running Kings Cross Central development site in London


ETSU fails large wind turbines?
There are calls for more research into the complex issue of predicting the noise impact of today’s large wind turbines

Wakeham quits
Peter Wakeham has quit as boss of the Noise Abatement Society.

Manby appeal
East Lindsey DC has taken the Manby vehicle noise compensation decision to the Court of Appeal.

Accon UK win
Accon UK, set up in July 2007, has been awarded a commission to provide noise and air quality input for the proposed BX-D Luas tram line in Dublin.

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December 2008 headlines (issue 28)

Delivery truck noise leads to compensation
Noise from refuse vehicles accessing a new depot is unacceptable, says the High Court.

Skateparks need not be noisy
Skateparks should not create any noise nuisance provided they are built more than 200m from properties, Alan Saunders told an IoA meeting in Winchester last month.


Government urges use of ‘wellbeing’ powers
Councils have failed to use an obscure legal power that could be used to aid local environment quality.


England action planned
Outgoing Defra environmental noise head Wendy Hartnell told the recent Epuk noise update conference of progress on English action plans.

Wendy Hartnell heads off
Defra environmental noise chief Wendy Hartnell is leaving to join DECC, the climate change and energy department. Hartnell took over from Jo Bray in 2005. A replacement has not yet been announced.

Licensing: What is public nuisance?
Lawyers are going to the High Court to test the meaning of public nuisance in licensing cases.

Westminster swats Mosquitos
Westminster City Council is backing calls to ban a controversial Mosquito device which emits annoying signals to disperse groups of young people.

Noisemap and Tompsett splits from Atkins
Newly launched Noisemap Ltd has bought all rights to the Noisemap environmental noise mapping software from consultant Atkins.

l Website:

Premises closed
The first Premises Closure Order to be served in England and Wales took place in east London just one week after the power was introduced.

l Guidance can be found at

Epic tyre win for Epuk
The European Parliament’s internal market committee has voted to support proposed legislation that would make tyres quieter and more energy efficient. Epuk is among the groups that have hotly argued that tyres should be quieter.

BAA promises to stick to limits
A Government announcement on whether it will support expansion at Heathrow is now due in January. Compliance with noise limits is a major constraint on the expansion.

Airport action planning: fears voiced
Epuk is urging Government to clarify draft noise action planning guidance for airport operators.

Noise complaints suppressed in Planning Bill
Epuk has expressed disappointment that the Planning Bill has been passed with clauses that will limit the ability to complain about noise and dust nuisance.

Tees Valley councils get together for survey
The five Tees Valley local authorities (Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland and Stockton) have carried out a survey of occupational noise levels within the entertainment and leisure industry.

l More details

Cardiff works late
Cardiff City Council’s recently launched an out of hours noise service which has proved to be a success.

Tens in Parliament
Government has been questioned on Temporary Event Notices in Parliament.

Campbell UKASsed
Campbell Associates has announced that its calibration laboratory is now UKAS accredited.

l website

Vanguardia grows
Environmental acoustics expert David Trevor-Jones has joined Vanguardia Consulting’s management team, headed by Jim Griffiths and John Staunton. The enlarged firm also opened a London office near London Bridge last month.

l website www.vanguardia

Cutting glass noise
A new HSE publication has been published aimed at managers, buyers, designers and manufacturers of recycled glass collection equipment. Noise during collections can reach 120db

l Reducing ‘kerbside’ glass collection noise risks in the waste and recycling industry can be viewed on

Stansted appeal
Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has lodged an appeal with the High Court challenging last month’s decision by the Government to sanction an additional 10 million passengers a year on Stansted’s existing runway.

l www.stopstansted

Freight mapping
Hackney has introduced an online freight mapping facility aimed at cutting noise nuisance.


Surrey councils agree
Surrey County Council has signed up to an agreement to cooperate on possible future development of Gatwick Airport.

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November 2008 headlines (issue 27)

Wales launches plans
Wales has launched its draft action plans for noise. It has beaten England in publishing the plans – England’s action planning has had several false starts with Defra unable to decide how to engage local authorities in the process.

l Environmental noise action plans for major roads, railways and agglomerations consultation can be viewed on

High court squashes valuation verdict
The High Court has reversed a decision from a valuation tribunal to cut council tax for those living near a motorway which had experienced increased traffic.

l Chilton-Merryweather v Hunt & Ors can be viewed on

PPG24 guidance overruled
Crawley has effectively been told that it was wrong to give weight to the NEC bands in PPG24 planning guidance on noise.

York gets tough with noise makers
The City of York Council is continuing its crackdown against noise nuisance after gaining its second Criminal Anti Social Behaviour Order (Crasbo) against a noisy neighbour in a single week.

St Albans loses pub nuisance fight in High Court
St Albans District Council has lost its High Court battle to force a pub owner to reduce nuisance noise. It was appealing against acceptance by a Magistrates Court of a best practical means defence.

US combines aviation findings
The US Government has published a compendium of research into aviation noise.

l Effects of aircraft noise: Research update on selected topics: A synthesis of airport practice can be viewed on the US Transportation Research Board website

Airports get green light to grow
Two airports have received the green light to expand their activities. Next month the Government is scheduled to decide on whether expansion at Heathrow should go ahead.

l The Stansted decision can be viewed on :
Stansted G2 Inquiry website:

Stewart leads environmental top 100
Aviation and transport campaigner John Stewart has been voted number one in The Independent newspaper’s Top 100 list of environmentalists. Stewart has been instrumental in highlighting the noise and air quality impacts of the proposed expansion of Heathrow Airport.

Agency solicits views on Monckton works
The Environment Agency is consulting directly with local residents to see whether they are happy with levels of nuisance from the Royston Monckton Coke and Chemical site near Barnsley.

Wandsworth wins John Connell award for second time
Wandsworth has once again won the Noise Abatement Society’s John Connell Awards.

‘Tireless’ campaigner wins IoA awards
Working “tirelessly” with schools and engaging them with acoustics has clinched Richard Collman, of Acoustical Control Engineers, the Institute of Acoustics’ 2008 award for promoting acoustics to the public.

Noise responsible for 1.7% of Flanders’ Dalys
Noise in Flanders is responsible for 1.7% of disease impacts say Belgian researchers.

Long term aviation noise may cause stress
A Swedish study suggests that long term aircraft noise exposure may cause hypertension (stress).

Environmental sound barriers: mixed blessing
A recent study highlights the benefits and disadvantages of sound barriers.

Renewable energy fears from Epuk
Noise and other environmental issues have not been covered sufficiently, Epuk says in its response to the Government’s Renewable Energy Strategy consultation.

Scotland SEA
Scotland has released it’s strategic environmental assessment of draft noise action plans released earlier this year

l Noise action plans strategic environmental assessment: Environmental report is available from

Scottish nuisance
The Scottish Government is consulting on new guidance to accompany incoming statutory nuisance provisions of the Public Health etc (Scotland) Act 2008.

l The draft guidance can be found on the Scottish Government Consultation website

Vanguardia Audioview
Events specialist Vanguardia continue to use its Audioview software to aid sound monitoring at large events.

l More information:

Tram noise reported
A series of reports have been commissioned by tram lobby group UKTram looking at the incidence and control of noise issues surrounding UK tram systems.

l The reports, commissioned by UKTram from Delta Rail, can be viewed on

Licences totalled
207,800 licences and certificates were in force in England and Wales in March 2008, based on DCMS statistics.

l More details:

Lockwood to Temple
Robert Lockwood has joined Temple as principal consultant. Lockwood joined Temple Group after a number of years with the Environment Agency.

Hepworth grows
Hepworth Acoustics is opening two new offices in Plymouth and Leeds.


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October 2008 headlines (issue 26)

Noise kills 134 a year
Corrected calculations carried out for the GLA suggest just a handful of people in London die due to aviation noise. But nearly 140 die each year due to road noise.

l The revised report is on

Plan panned
Aviation noise action plans released by Defra have been criticised.

Defra forced to release turbine findings
Defra has been obliged to release research on domestic turbine nuisance under freedom of information laws.

All change – Shaw out, Hunt in
Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s recent Cabinet shake up sees noise minister Jonathan Shaw moving on.

Epuk works to amend Planning Bill
Epuk is working with other bodies in a bid to amend a clause in the Planning Bill that will remove rights to complain about nuisance.

Epuk join EU lobbyists
Epuk has joined with other European groups to work towards reducing the impact of traffic noise on health.

Councils rescue north eastern 101 service
The ill-fated 101 helpline service in the North East of England rescued by Newcastle and Sunderland councils has now racked up over 10,000 calls.

Heathrow inequalities revealed
A decision on expansion at Heathrow is set to be delayed until the end of the year at earliest while the Government carries out an equality impact assessment of the proposals.


Superjumbo: is it quieter or not?
Tests on the double-decker Airbus A380 superjumbo suggests it really is quieter than other planes.


Helicopters seem louder than they are
Normal decibel measures do not adequately predict helicopter annoyance, a study for Defra suggests.

l Research into the improvement of the management of helicopter noise (NANR235) can be viewed on

Wind farm permission quashed
Anti wind farm protesters have succeeded in the High Court in forcing a wind farm developer to supply detailed noise data.


Kids learning
A Belfast protest group believes children’s education will suffer as the City Airport expands

l website

Remote noise test helps keep festival peace
Nuisance to local residents was kept to a minimum during Ireland’s Oxegen music festival, with the local council using a wireless network to monitor noise levels in surrounding areas.


Soundscape research launched
Defra is seeking a firm to carry out research into soundscapes in what looks suspiciously like a hint at what policy might look like if Defra ever gets a strategy out
l Research into the practical and policy applications of soundscape concepts and techniques in urban areas (NANR 200) can be viewed on

Mendip pleased despite Glastonbury increase
Mendip District Council believes the Glastonbury Festival is “possibly the best managed event of its kind in the world”.

30% more details
Robust Details Ltd has expanded its handbook of low noise standardised building methods by a third.


Ireland consults
The Irish Government is consulting on a large scale shake up of noise legislation.


Witterick to Capita
Capita Symonds’ acoustics team has appointed Susan Witterick as senior acoustic consultant.

Wales consults
Wales is consulting on changing detail within its noise regulations.


Turbine numbers
Berr has told Parliament that there are currently 1,130 micro-wind turbines in operation.

Little red re-release
The second edition of The little red book of acoustics has been released.


Open space omission
The Mayor of London and the CABE is consulting on best practice guidance on open space strategies. Noise is not mentioned.

l Open space strategies: Best practice guidance. A joint consultation draft by the Mayor of London and CABE Space can be viewed on

Wellingborough OK
In the website review in our last issue, we wrote that Wellingborough’s website failed to suggest noise complainants should contact their neighbours informally. In fact this is mentioned on page three of the website and in the ‘frequently asked questions’.

Rushlight Awards call
Entries are being sought for the 2008 Rushlight Awards for environmental technologies and innovations.


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Aug/Sept 2008 headlines (issue 25)

Bill will cut noise rights
A minor clause inserted into the Planning Bill could take away the right to complain about noise arising from large projects.

Wind turbine noise sufferers win rate cut
Noise from wind turbines has been recognised as a nuisance problem and prompted a cut in council tax rates.

l The valuation tribunal decision can be found on

Low frequency noise probe launched
Defra and the Department of Health have launched a project to help sufferers to cope with low frequency noise problems.

l More details on

Home turbines: weak benefits
Many householders will not be able to generate sufficient energy from wind turbines to offset carbon used in their construction, says the Government’s Carbon Trust.

l A copy of the report can be accessed at:

Micro in Parliament
The Government was asked in Parliament about the status of permitted development rights for domestic turbines.

IoA adds to turbine woes
The Institute of Acoustic has thrown its weight behind fears that plans to deregulation wind turbines may lead to nuisance problems.


Guidance for smoking nuisance
Local authority groups have produced guidance for councils facing complaints about noise nuisance from pub-goers forced outside to smoke.

l Tackling noise: Guidance relating to licensing and smokefree issues is available at

Banbridge bears down on street disturbance
Banbridge has set up a night-time economy working group which has set up a three-month pilot scheme in a bid to resolve excess noise from transport providers who park close to residential areas in order to drop off and pick up club goers in the town.

Truck tests for London lorry ban
A comprehensive review of the London lorry ban may see introduction of a noise test for lorries and a noise-based sleep disturbance map.

Airport submits health impact analysis
Birmingham International Airport has submitted a planning report which includes a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) to Solihull Council. The analysis will support a planning application for a proposed runway extension.
l The Health Impact Assessment and supporting material is available at

Government seeks more data on noise and health impact costs
Defra is seeking to quantify the adverse health impacts of noise.

l /funding/competitions.htm

B&K releases software for noise logging
Direct access to real time environmental noise recording, via a remote computer is now available through Brüel & Kjær’s latest Noise Management Terminal software – Type 7843.

l For more information, please contact

Airport noise logged
Noise at London’s three main airports both rose and fell in 2007.

l 2007 noise exposure reports and contours for Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports can be viewed on

Bike petition
A group of motorcycle noise sufferers has set up a petition on the Prime Minister’s petition website. onable noise levels.”

l More details http:// petitions.number10

Microlights allowed
Small microlight aircraft will no longer be prohibited from overflying congested areas of a city, town or settlement, the CAA says.

Truck charges set
A European proposal to allow member states to charge tolls for trucks includes a methodology for costing noise from vehicles.

l Proposal for a Directive on road tolls for lorries port/greening/doc/road/2008_07_greening_transport_road_proposal_en.pdf

Rail noise costed
A European Commission paper has set out how member states can cut rail noise.

l Communication on rail noise

Robust review
The independent report into Robust Details first three year’s in operation (Noise Bulletin December 2007 p1) has just been published.

l Robust Details: 3 Yr Report

Sound advice issued
The Health and Safety Executive has released it’s Sound Advice book covering the control of noise at work in music and entertainment.

l Sound Advice website

Ciria probes
Construction research group Ciria is to study noise and vibration issues for developments near infrastructure.

l More details on

Deadlines missed
According to English noise regulations, England should by now have drawn up action plans for roads, railways and agglomerations.

Defra costs noise
Defra is letting a research project in a bid to estimate the amenity value of various local environmental factors including noise.


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July 2008 headlines (issue 24)

Turbines: guidelines needed
The Renewable Energy Foundation says that a new Dutch study confirms the need for new noise guidelines for UK wind turbines. The Government last week proposed a huge increase in the number of UK wind turbines.

l More details

Wales gets its maps – and outlines action
Wales has completed its noise maps – the last region in the UK to do so.

l The noise maps can be viewed on    Action plan documents can be viewed on

McKell to Faber
Bernadette McKell has merged her acoustics consultancy Hamilton & McGregor with Faber Maunsell.

In Parliament
Last month MP Maria Miller asked noise minister Jonathan Shaw on progress on the national noise strategy. Shaw replied: “The Government plans to publish a combined National Noise Strategy for England, which will cover ambient and neighbourhood noise, for consultation later this year.”

Government goes green in renewable push
The Government has announced a huge push for renewables in its latest renewables strategy. Wind power is a key part of future plans.

GLA links noise to heart failure
A report released by the GLA has linked transport noise to heart attacks.

Surface transport noise debated in Europe
The EU research project SILENCE, which aims to develop technologies and methods for reducing noise from surface transport, has just finished with a final conference in Germany.


Defra sets out research needs
Defra has released its yearly update of research it wants to carry out. Much of it has been carried over from previous years.

l The noise wish list can be viewed on

Airport review
Tranport Secretary Ruth Kelly has delayed a decision on Heathrow expansion. It was due this month – and will now be ‘before the end of the year’.

Danish study low frequencies
Danish researchers have studied 203 cases of low-frequency complaints in a bid to see what is causing them.

100th member for ANC
The Association of Noise Consultants has recently approved the application for membership of its 100th member. New Acoustics based in Clydebank, Scotland is the latest company to join the association.


Glastonbury: good
Glastonbury Festival has been hailed as “very successful” by Mendip District Council, which grants the licence for the event.

Red cards planned
Ministers are considering widespread introduction of red and yellow cards to discourage noise and other licensing breaches.

Edinburgh: one hour
Almost 100% of domestic noise complaints are responded to within one hour by the City of Edinburgh Council’s dedicated noise team.

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June 2008 headlines (issue 23)

Scotland springs into action
Scotland has outlined its draft noise action plans.

English noise maps finally published
Defra has completed its noise maps covering road, rail, air and industrial noise in England.

l The maps are available on the Defra website at:

Brum maps updated
The Birmingham Updated noise Mapping Project (BUMP) team has finalised its maps which include road, rail, air and consolidated noise sources – and quiet areas.

News from the IoA’s Spring Conference held in Reading

Soundscape monitor developed
A device is being developed that attempts to be able to home in on specific noise to aid noise enforcement and planning.

Air noise set to grow, says Mitchell
ERM’s Steve Mitchell told the IoA spring conference that noise from aircraft is set to increase.

Rooftop turbine no nuisance
Large rooftop turbines are unlikely to cause a nuisance based on monitoring of a turbine in south London.

Proceedings from the IoA spring conference 2008 Widening horizons in acoustics are available from Linda Canty, IoA, 01727 848195

Hinton to lead IoA
Noise mapping guru John Hinton of Birmingham City Council is taking over as president of the Institute of Acoustics.

Court challenge fails
A group of councils have failed to secure a judicial review to cut the number of aircraft allowed to arrive at Heathrow before 6am.


Label proposed to cut tyre noise
The European Commission is set to propose new noise and energy efficiency standards for tyres but with a blanket exemption for the largest 4x4s, according to draft rules seen by European pressure group Transport and Environment (T&E). The group is attempting to include noise in a noise label for tyres.

l T&E website

Brigade wins night delivery endorsement
Brigade Electronics has received one of the first Noise Abatement Society-Piek certificates to be awarded for their reversing alarms which assist quiet night time deliveries.


Noise Action Week sends the message
A survey carried out to support Noise Action Week has highlighted annoying street sounds.

IoA seeks publicity makers
The European Commission is set to propose new noise and energy efficiency standards for tyres but with a blanket exemption for the largest 4x4s, according to draft rules seen by European pressure group Transport and Environment (T&E). The group is attempting to include noise in a noise label for tyres.

l T&E website

German speed cut
Germany’s city-state of Bremen announced last month that its 60 kilometres of motorway will have a blanket 120 km/h speed limit (80mph).

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May 2008 headlines (issue 22)

Weedon quits over delays
Delays to development of UK noise policy has pushed prominent noise campaigner Val Weedon to quit.

Councils told not to overdeclare tranquillity
News of Weedon’s departure (above) emerged at the recent Quiet Conference opened by presenter Jonathan Dimbleby.
Minister Jonathan Shaw warned local authorities (who have input into quiet areas): “Any inappropriate adoption of a tranquillity indicator to prevent new development and activities must be looked at very carefully.”

Epuk loses patience
Epuk (formerly the NSCA) has written to noise minister Jonathan Shaw seeking a date for the completion of the national noise strategy. The strategy has been much delayed

Westminster plans own strategy
Westminster City Council is developing its own noise strategy.

London Underground loses PA battle
London Underground has been saddled with costs of £115,000 after it abandoned its appeal against an abatement notice.

Local authorities poised for action week
Noise Action Week is looming – 19th-23rd May – and the event’s organiser Epuk says the event will once again provide the opportunity to give noise a proper hearing at local level.


Bristol latest to go online...
Bristol has published an interactive noise map online. It has been developing its noise map over the past few months but has now added the clickable map to its website.


... as London maps pulled
London noise maps, produced nearly four years ago, have been pulled off the web.

Guidance and device approval for premises
Defra has issued guidance to English local authorities on the new night noise powers available for dwellings and licensed premises which exceed the “permitted level” of noise prescribed under the Noise Act 1996 as amended by the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005.

l Guidance to local authorities in England – Noise Act offence for licensed premises and Measuring devices (Noise Act 1996) (England) Approval 2008 and permitted level of noise (England) directions 2008 can be viewed on

Anase: ‘Shambles’
The local authority Strategic Aviation Special Interest Group (Sasig) has described the Anase study as “a shambles”.

Europe seeks help
Europe is seeking a consultant through the European Journal to help it review the noise directive 2002/49/EC.

Mapping equivalence
The European Commission has proposed a series of protocols to allow member states to test whether the mapping systems they are using can demonstrate equivalence.


Ecotowns quiet?
A consultation on Ecotowns does not mention noise.

l Eco-towns: Living a greener future – consultation paper

BV props up Defra
Bureau Veritas has been re-appointed by Defra for the provision of acoustic advisory services to their noise and nuisance team.

Inaudibility: is it possible?
Is it reasonable to combine the buzz of city centre living with isolation from the entertainment noise around? Lisa Russell reports

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April 2008 headlines (issue 21)

Europe frees UK map data
While Defra is still holding back from publishing its noise maps, the data that will be used to produce the maps can now be obtained from Brussels. The maps can be downloaded from

Actions plans due this summer, says Defra
Action plans should be complete by July 2008, Defra’s Wendy Hartnell told the recent EPUK spring workshop.

Snetterton silenced?
A council in Norfolk has dropped legal action against Snetterton motor racing circuit in return for a best practice pledge on noise from the circuit owner.

Turbine turmoil (nearly) resolved
Gordon Brown’s Budget has resolved some of the prolonged uncertainty on noise output of English domestic wind turbines. Turbines in gardens and on detached houses will not have to apply for planning permission provided they conform to agreed standards.

l BWEA Small Wind Turbine Performance and Safety Standard can be viewed on

Highways Agency lists actions
Highways Agency noise specialist Pam Lowery updated delegates at the Institute of Acoustics transportation noise meeting held in Birmingham last month.

McKell still struggles with TAG
Hamilton and McGregor boss Bernadette McKell repeated concerns she had about the recent changes to English Transport Assessment Guidance.

Birmingham uses maps to identify hotspots
Birmingham’s head-start on noise mapping and action planning has hit problems due to funding.

Smoking noise
Bristol City Council has put figures on the increase in complaints prompted by the smoking ban introduced into England last year. Pop code revamp Howard Price of the CIEH reported progress to the EPUK workshop on the update of the ‘pop code’.

More rate cuts?
An MP has questioned the Government on whether increases in aircraft noise can prompt revaluation of rates as has been agreed for road noise in Manchester.

Faber expands
Pierre Klemas has joined Faber Maunsell’s acoustics group at a new base in central London alongside Nigel Burton. The firm already has acoustic teams in Altrincham, Beckenham and St Albans.

UK highways authorities not as sympathetic to noise curbs
Bristol City Council’s Steve Crawshaw updated delegates at EPUK’s recent spring noise workshop held in Warwick on progress with the city’s noise maps and action planning. The city is one of the few to have carried out noise and air quality mapping with a view to taking action.

Maidstone wishes
As part of its air quality action plan, Maidstone Borough Council has asked the Highways Agency to introduce speed limits on the M20 motorway. The Agency is thinking of installing variable message signs on the motorway which could be used to cut speeds and resulting noise.

UK follows European lead
European experts gathered at last month’s Noise in the City conference held in Amsterdam.

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March 2008 headlines (issue 20)

Defra trumped on turbines
It is appearing increasingly likely that Defra has been overruled by Dberr (formerly DTi) on noise limits for domestic wind turbines.


Pub fixed penalty rules now in
Legislation has finally come into force aimed at reducing night-time noise from pubs and clubs.

Road traffic increase leads to rating cut
Government is appealing against a High Court endorsement of a tribunal’s decision to allow a reduction in council tax for homeowners living near busy roads.

Blobs and slugs for Scotland
Progress on Scottish action planning was revealed at the EPUK Scotland (formerly NSCA) conference held in Glasgow last month.

Tone finder from B&K
Local authorities and acoustic consultants may save time and money spent investigating the existence of elusive tonal noises with Brüel & Kjær’s new tone assessment tool.


Yet more delay for strategy
The Government has now admitted to further delays for the noise strategy.

Finnish Government adopts noise strategy
Finland has adopted a noise strategy that includes fixed targets in noise reduction.

London Assembly probes noisy boom cars
A survey carried out to support a probe by the London Assembly into loud car stereos confirms they are a nuisance.

l Booming and fuming: Noise nuisance from car stereos and mini-motorbikes, is available at:

Wind farms: An EHO’s tale
Speaking at the recent Institute of Acoustics meeting on wind turbine noise held in Northern Ireland, an environmental health officer recounted problems with wind farm applications.

‘Conservatism’ can cost 40% of output
Cumulative conservatism in noise prediction can cost wind farm developers up to 40% of their potential power output, Andrew Bullimore of Hoare Lea Acoustics told the Armagh IoA conference.

Terrain key to turbine annoyance?
Swedish researchers have studied wind turbine annoyance and found that the local environment and terrain are key factors in annoyance.

l Wind turbine noise, annoyance and self reported health and well being in different living environments, Eja Pedersen et al, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Vol. 64 pp480-486.

24hr licensing reviewed
The government has published its review of 24hr licensing.


No change for temporary event notices
Government has told Parliament that it sees no reason to change the system for temporary event notices (TENs).

Government pushes for live music
The Government has pledged half a million pounds to boost live music at small venues.

Heathrow criticism flies in
Responses to plans to expand Heathrow have now been submitted. Many are critical of noise impacts.

EU airport review
The EU has published a report on the impact of its airport noise directive passed in 2002.

l Noise operation restrictions at EU airports (report on the application of Directive 2002/30/EC) can be viewed on

Heathrow economic benefits ‘negligible’
A report has undermined Government claims on economic benefits of further Heathrow expansion.

l The report on the economics of Heathrow expansion can be viewed on the HACAN website

Expansion unwelcome
Hacan also commissioned a public opinion poll which suggests Heathrow expansion is not welcomed by most. 18% of people support the Government’s policy of expanding UK airports and 62% back a reduction in the number of short-haul flights using Heathrow.

l Aviation and climate change: public opinion and the scope for action, by Woodnewton Associates can be viewed on

New CAA flightpaths
The Civil Aviation Authority is consulting on a fundamental shake up of flight paths and waiting stacks over a large area north of London.

l website

In Parliament MP
Dan Rogerson asked the Government what research he has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the effects of low level decibel sound (sic) on public health.

Blood pressure rise when asleep
Further output from the Hyena noise and health effects study suggest that noise can raise blood pressure even while asleep.

Noise prompts 50,000 deaths a year
Close to half of all Europeans are regularly exposed to traffic noise levels that are potentially dangerous to health, a pressure group claims.

l Traffic noise reduction in Europe: health effects, social costs and technical and policy options to reduce road and rail traffic noise was commissioned by T&E and carried out by Dutch environmental consultants CE Delft

Performance indicator research released
Defra has published the findings of research that was commissioned to investigate the use of performance indicators for noise, Lacors reports.

l Performance indicators: A review of their use to monitor the management of environmental and neighbourhood noise can be viewed on

Delivery launch
The Noise Abatement Society in association with Wandsworth Borough Council and Doncaster MBC is formally launching its Silent Approach quiet delivery initiative at the Commercial Vehicle show in Birmingham on the 17th April.

l website

101 service fragments
Home Office funding cuts have claimed more victims among the 101 hotline pilot authorities.

Helicopters come under fire
Helicopter noise is very much in the news so the recent IoA conference in Manchester inevitably attracted considerable interest. Held at Salford University’s revamped conference facilities, the event drew in a wide range of experts in this complex field.

Nuisance noise unpicked
Methods of dealing with nuisance noise are having to keep abreast with changes in behaviour, legislation and technology, reports Lisa Russell

Smoking advice
Lacors has published advice on the noise and nuisance implications of the smoking ban.

l Guidance to noise, licensing and smokefree issues can be downloaded from

Edinburgh seats
Edinburgh City Council is considering changing the current permit system for outdoor tables and chairs outside pubs and cafes.

130 chapters on noise
An 130-chapter book on noise and vibration has been published. The Handbook of noise and vibration control contains 1,600 pages and was edited by Malcolm Crocker. It costs £105.

l More details on website

Plymouth criticised
The Local Government Ombudsman has criticised Plymouth City Council for delays in taking enforcement action over non-compliance with planning conditions at industrial premises.


Wind approved
Three new wind farms have been granted consent by the Government – two onshore farms at Keadby, North Lincolnshire and another at Thorne, South Yorkshire. An offshore farm has been approved on Gunfleet Sands, Thames Estuary.

Hard shoulder boost
Hard shoulders are set to be used to improve capacity on motorways.

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Jan/Feb 2008 headlines (issue 19)

NI counts noise exposure
In a move that will further isolate England, Northern Ireland has completed its noise mapping. Welsh maps are due within days.

l Maps can be viewed on an interactive website –

Isoniq elsewhere
Isoniq is working in Wales and Ireland, as well as in Northern Ireland


Contours released for English airports
England’s busiest airports have been mapped. Results have been posted on Defra’s website.


St Albans bar row spills over to High Court
St Albans District Council is pursuing a case to the High Court that will test a defendant’s ‘best practical means’ defence.

HYENA finds blood pressure link
A huge multi national study has shown that a 10db increase in long term exposure to noise increases the risk of hypertension (high blood pressure).

l The paper can be viewed via the Environmental Health Perspectives website 2007/10775/10775.pdf

WHO late on noise
World Health Organisation night noise guidelines, (NB October p1) which were to have been released last year, are not now expected to be released until later in Spring.

Costs outlined
The European Commission has produced a 300 page report setting out the external environmental costs of transport, including noise.

l The costing document can be viewed on road/policy/index_en.htm

Video capture
A large rise in complaints about late night rowdiness at pubs has prompted the launch of a video based

l More details:

Flat tyres
European lobby group T&E reports that the European Commission has “once again” postponed proposals on limiting road noise from tyres by six months.


Health fillip
EPUK (formerly NSCA) has suggested that prime minister Gordon Brown considers spending more on the environment to improve public health.

New EPUK website
Environmental Protection UK has a new website. Close on the heals of its rebranding from NSCA

l EPUK’s new website can be found on

Deliveries on the quiet
Trials at a sensitive London location have shown that night-time deliveries to supermarkets need not wake the neighbours.

Microgeneration: councils talk
EPUK organised a conference to swap experiences of environmental benefits – and downsides – of domestic turbines and heat pumps

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December 2007 headlines (issue 18)

Bigger Heathrow, less noise
50% more planes, a sixth terminal and a third runway at Heathrow will not worsen noise nuisance, claims the Government.

l open/heathrowconsultation/

Inaudibility rejected at appeal
Birmingham City Council has lost an appeal mounted by a developer of 162 flats on the issue of ‘inaudibility’. The council feared that allowing housing in an entertainment zone would lead to nuisance actions putting pressure on local night spots.

Details emerge of Defra noise strategy
Details are emerging on the shape of Defra’s draft noise strategy.

Amber light for wind turbine relaxation
DCLG will lay regulations to take wind turbines and heat pumps out of the planning system – subject to further research on noise impacts.


Planning Bill
In the same batch of planning announcements as that on domestic microgeneration, a Planning Bill has been published that will streamline major infrastructure projects.

NI complaints up
Almost 12,000 noise complaints were recorded last year, a new report from DOE in Northern Ireland has revealed.

l uk/news/news-doe/news-doe-151107-noise-complaints-on.htm

Top tapper
A Norsonic tapping machine from Campbell Associates has been launched. l Inspire consultation The Commission is consulting on the shape of the Inspire directive which seeks to harmonise data provision, for instance in noise maps.

l public_consultations/metadata/index.cfm

Nuisance can now be logged online
Two new websites allow logging of nuisance noise via online maps. Mike Stigwood of MAS Environmental has launched to allow complaints to be logged against commercial nuisances such as factories, theme parks and wind turbines.
   Meanwhile Croydon is using Google maps to allow complaints to be registered against barking dogs

Last chance saloon for 57LAeq
The concepts contained in the consultation on expansion of Heathrow, mostly based on ANASE, are hugely important and will be debated for years to come

ANASE: what it concluded:
The study makes clear that compared to the 1980s Aircraft Noise Index Study (ANIS), the role of aircraft movements has become much more critical – that annoyance is more closely related to the number of movements than to averaged noise (LAeq).


Anase reviewers slam the researchers
A high profile and contentious spat between acousticians was published along with the ANASE study

l Attitudes to ANASE – Non SP Peer Review: consultations/open/heathrowconsultation/technicalreports/
Robust review
The Robust Details scheme, set up to improve sound insulation standards in homes, has passed its three year review.

Sustainable & robust
A masonry wall ‘robust detail’ has achieved credits under the Code for Sustainable Homes.


Scottish grants reviewed
Most of Scotland’s local authorities have taken advantage of Scottish Government grants to launch services on anti-social neighbour noise nuisance. The first evaluation is now available.

l The report can be viewed on

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November 2007 headlines (issue 17)

Anase challenges plane nuisance
The suitability of the LAeq measure is under scrutiny following the much delayed publication of the DfT’s Attitudes to noise from aviation sources in England (Anase) report.

l Anase can be viewed on

Standard planning conditions proposed for wind turbines
Dberr (formerly the DTi) has set out guidance on planning conditions for wind turbines in a bid to add more clarity to developers proposing wind farms.

l Onshore wind energy planning conditions guidance note can be viewed on uk/cgi-bin/resource.cgi

News from the NSCA (now EPUK) noise update meeting held in Birmingham last month

Turner’s turning theory
Turning aircraft may be the cause of increased noise nuisance above London, Bureau Veritas’ Stephen Turner told the EPUK noise update conference held in Birmingham.

Mendip tackles entertainment noise
On top of Glastonbury rock festival, Mendip Council also deals with more mundane noise nuisance issues because the district is particularly quiet.

Asbos exposed
Asbo legislation is broadly defined and can be used to tackle varied types of anti social behaviour, legal expert Stuart MacDonald of Swansea University told delegates at EPUK’s noise update conference in Birmingham last month.

l ASBOs, a guide for the judiciary can be viewed

Scottish services scrutinised
Scottish Government has released in-depth research into provision of council noise nuisance services.

l An evaluation of local authority antisocial neighbour noise nuisance services lications/2007/10/24132337/0

Councils scoop John Connell awards
The annual John Connell awards for effort in tackling noise have been announced.


Tyre standards criticised by EPUK
Environmental Protection UK (EPUK) is calling for quieter tyre standards.

EPUK launched in Westminster
Environmental Protection UK is the new name for the National Society for Clean Air (NSCA).

Tube too loud
The UK Noise Association has completed its study into noise on London’s underground.

l The Mind the (gap) noise report can be viewed on

Appraisal ‘refresh’
The DfT’s key appraisal guide is set for a ‘refresh’.

l The NATA refresh: reviewing the new approach to transport appraisal is on

Protest website
Hacan Clearskies and other pressure groups have launched a new anti expansion website to coordinate their objections


Book review: Manifesto for silence
Unusual take on noise nuisance of interest if you fancy an intellectual challenge
Manifesto for silence: confronting the politics and culture of noise, Stuart Sim, Edinburgh University Press £15.99.

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October 2007 headlines (issue 16)

Scots first with action plans
Scotland is the first administration in the UK to complete noise maps and consult on action planning.

l Maps can be viewed on

Noise can help ADHD learning for children
Background noise can help the performance of children with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), Swedish researchers say.

l More details can be found on

Stone crusher fails at appeal
Protection of a tranquil area from noise has been instrumental in an appeal refusal for a stone crusher operation in Scotland.

Minister pressed to continue WHO research
UK Noise Campaigners have joined together to urge continued funding for World Health organisation research into noise and health.

Commission urged
NSCA is also pushing the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (RCEP) to launch a probe into noise. The Commission recently consulted on what topics it should cover.

NSCA manages microgeneration
NSCA has produced guidance on domestic wind turbines. The group is organising a one day conference on the issue. It will be held in Manchester on 21st November.

l Small scale wind turbines – a guide is available from NSCA

News from Internoise held in Istanbul last month

WHO to agree 30dbA for night?
Dutch noise expert Martin van den Berg revealed early details of thinking behind the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) proposed night noise guidelines. These will complement daytime guidelines set in 2000.

Variable speed yields minor benefits
The introduction of variable speed controls on the M42 motorway in the West Midlands has led to a minor, barely significant reduction in noise.

Aircraft noise linked to mental health
Japanese researchers say that aircraft noise may be linked to mental health, especially during the evening period.

WHO: noise kills 3% ?
Noise could be responsible for killing 3% of those with weak hearts, the New Scientist has reported.

101 for London
London may trial use of the non-emergency 101 number for noise complaints.

Anase: more waiting
The Government has been asked in Parliament when it expects to publish the results of the Attitudes to noise from aviation sources in England (Anase) study.

York prioritises
York City Council has responded to the findings of the Rogers Review of Local Authority Regulatory Priorities during a meeting of its neighbourhood services panel.

Racing noise debated
Motor racing measurements are among topics to be discussed at the Institute of Acoustics Autumn conference organised by the noise and vibration engineering group.

l IoA autumn conference: Advances in noise and vibration engineering to be held in Oxford on 17-18 October, website

Turbine disturbs
Ryedale Council has received noise complaints from neighbours living near a domestic wind turbine.

Louth turbine agreed
A domestic wind turbine has won planning permission on appeal.

Robust Details boosts web presence
Robust Details Ltd has revamped its website which now features up to date information about gaining credits under the Code for Sustainable Homes using Robust Details, in a move to make the scheme more accessible to a wider audience.


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Aug/Sept 2007 headlines (issue 15)

Wind expert quits thinktank

Wind turbine noise expert Dick Bowdler has quit a government working party. He says the Noise Working Group has become “redundant” in the light of the Government’s endorsement of a Salford University report that claims that rhythmic noises from wind turbines are negligible and unlikely to be a nuisance. The government says Salford’s report “eases concerns over wind turbine noise”. Bowdler says it is misleading.

Sainsbury fine for allowing cruise nuisance

Crawley Borough Council has successfully prosecuted Sainsbury’s supermarket for allowing boy racers to tear around a superstore car park causing a noise nuisance.

Agency misses road quietening target

The Highways Agency has missed its target for cutting noisy road surfaces.

Pub generation

Planning rules on microgeneration are set to be relaxed for small businesses as is being done for domestic properties.

Speed cut proposed in Bristol

Bristol City Council has produced a study showing a speed cut on the urban M32 motorway could reduce noise and air pollution.

l Bristol City Council’s M32 noise and air quality study can be viewed on www.bristol.

Council indicators omit noise

Government has spelled out what it expects local authorities to do on the environment – and a new set of indicators. While climate change and air quality is included, noise is not. l The proposed indicators can be found at:

NSCA agrees name change

NSCA members have voted at a special general meeting to change the group’s name to Environmental Protection UK (EPUK).l More details of voting issues on

Good and bad for air contours

Noise contours for BAA’s London airports show a mixed picture. DfT reports that Heathrow noise contours grew.l 

Richmond first with remote concert monitor

The London Borough of Richmond is the first council to use Bruel and Kjaer’s sound testing equipment with a wireless link to monitor concert noise levels and reduced the number of staff it usually needs at this type of event. l

Little red book launched

A “Little Red Book” has been launched for acousticians. The 225-page pocketbook (little larger than a pocket diary) focuses on environmental acoustics and building acoustics.l email richard.watson @

Bristol rapped

Bristol City Council has been criticised by the Local Authority Ombudsman for failing to properly consult on noise and other impacts of a waste transfer facility that caused a nuisance.

Leg up for EHOs

Environmental health officers living in London, the south- east and east of England will be eligible for key worker housing, the Department of Communities and Local Government has confirmed.

RCEP escapes

An independent review of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution suggests it may be retained.l 

Tyre plea from NSCA

NSCA has written to the Government demanding a review of the EU tyre directive.

Scotland maps

Scotland is holding a conference detailing its noise mapping progress. The conference will be held in Edinburgh on 4th September. l For further details email noise @ 

Lothian uses meters

Lothian Police is using sound meters in a bid to quieten down modified cars. Noise Bulletin asked for more details but the force refused to comment.

Ten pilots chosen

Ten local authorities have been chosen to pilot more localised control of spending priorities including nuisance and noise



July 2007 headlines (issue 14)

Noise ‘burden’ to be resisted

A taskforce has warned against adoption of noise performance indicators. l The Lifting the burdens task force review of Defra can be viewed on download.asp?path=/Documents/Publication/ LBTF_DEFRA.pdf

New minister ‘chooses’ noise

Tony Blair’s departure as Prime Minister has seen incoming PM Gordon Brown shake up ministerial positions. The expected merger of Defra and the energy side of the DTi failed to materialise.

New name, new mission?

The National Society for Clean Air (NSCA) is close to deciding on whether to change its name and adopt a new strategic plan.

Home turbine revamp fears

NSCA has roundly criticised plans to deregulate installation of domestic wind turbines. DCLG earlier this year launched a consultation suggesting that turbines need not require planning permission if they met certain noise limits (NB April p1). l

Tough New York noise code enters law

New York’s new noise code came into force on July 1st.

l The code can be viewed on

Mediation review released

A review of mediation services has been released by Defra. l The report Review of use of mediation services by local authorities and housing associations Defra Contract NANR 197 can be viewed on

Tube announcements considered too loud

Noise campaigners are seeking to quieten London tube announcements following the serving of an abatement notice on London Underground. l

EU programme omission

European pressure group EEB is highlighting the omission of noise from core European policy. EEB response to the mid-term review of the sixth Community Environment Action Programme,

Acoustic firms highlighted

A building website is listing firms specialising in acoustics. Acoustic consultants are listed by county on The Construction Centre website. Over 200 firms are listed. l

More guidance for licensing

New 2003 Licensing Act guidance has been released. l Revised Guidance issued under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003 – June 07 can be viewed on www.culture.

Glastonbury over

This year’s Glastonbury festival has passed with few complaints from neighbours but reports that bands were too quiet.

Update for pop code?

Experts are being asked for comments on an update of the Code of practice on environmental noise control at concerts.

Action week: who did what

Local authorities around the country used the annual Noise Action Week to educate, advise and even have a bit of fun.

Coventry expansion rejected

Expansion of Coventry Airport has been rejected on noise grounds.

Agency wades into Heathrow growth debate

The Environment Agency has tabled its reservations about further expansion at Heathrow Airport.

Airports get advance warning from PSDH?

The 2M grouping of London authorities opposed to Heathrow expansion are complaining that airport operator BAA has been given advance access to data on noise.

Quest for peace and quiet images

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets’ environmental health team is running a Peace and tranquillity photograph competition aimed at raising awareness of noise issues in the borough. l Details of the competition can be found on templates/news/detail.cfm?newsid=7750

Noise Update 2007

NSCA is finalising its line up for the Noise Update one day conference to be held on 10th October at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Topics to be covered include: l Noise action planning – where are we now?; l Online booking

Merton rap for stair nuisance

The London Borough of Merton has been criticised by the Local Authority Ombudsman for noise nuisance from a metal staircase on a new block of flats. l

Smoking ban prompts warning

England has joined Wales and Scotland with a ban on smoking in the workplace. NSCA has warned that the ban might lead to extra noise for pub neighbours.

Industry awards to reward noise

The inaugural Rushlight Awards have been launched to promote and celebrate the achievements of the leading UK and Irish environmental technology and innovation. l

Green expenditure revealed by Defra

Defra has released its 2005 environmental protection expenditure survey. l Environmental protection expenditure survey by industry 2005 can be viewed on

Further delays to powers

Parliament has been told that there will be further delays to implementation of Noise Act powers to licensed premises. Defra still can’t say when the notification process will be completed. l ment/noise/noiseact.htm

European annoyance

43% of people living in the UK reported substantial noise annoyance at home. l The questionnaire is available on the website

June 2007 headlines (issue 13)

All change for planning

The widely anticipated shake up of the planning system is outlined in a new White Paper. l Planning for a sustainable future uk/embedded_object.asp?id=1510669

PPS24 vulnerable?

 Rumours have been circulating that planning policy statements and guidance on specific issues (such as PPG24 on noise and PPS23 on air quality) will be axed in favour of more overarching policy statements contained in an expanded PPS1 Delivering sustainable development.

House closures

Councils are to be given powers to close houses due to excess noise. The powers will be like those given to the police to close crack dens.l http://press.homeoffice. new-house-closure-powers-asb?version=1

Smoke shelter refused

Noise and nuisance fears have scuppered plans to erect a smoking shelter at an Asda store in Ellesmere Port.

BAA lets Londoners track loud planes

BAA has launched a new website that will enable local residents around its Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports to track planes and find out which ones are making excess noise. The software is similar to that used at other airports (such as East Midlands).  BAA’s noise and web tracking can be seen at:

Ecolabels for planes

Budget airline Flybe has launched an ecolabel for its flights.  Flybe’s ecolabels can be seen on environment/eco-labels.htm

Trains: plans to make them quieter

The European Commission is consulting on the need to reduce noise from trains. l gy_transport/home/consultation/transport_en.htm

Annoyance due to anxiety, not noise

Annoyance may be more related to anxiety traits rather than noise or air quality, Danish researchers suggest.

Heathrow footprint spreads

Flight numbers at Heathrow are likely to rise to 800,000 a year, the Government has admitted. l

Operation Torque tackles noisy bikes

Noise Action Week saw hundreds of UK authorities carrying out innovative events. l

Port loses appeal

A scrap metal exporter operating from Brightlingsea Harbour in Essex has lost its appeal for extended operating hours.

Grants restart

Grants for people who want to install micro-wind turbines on their homes have been made available again – albeit with tighter conditions.l More details on www.low

For the record...

Environment minister Ben Bradshaw has told Parliament that he will issue a combined national noise strategy, covering both environmental and neighbourhood noise, “by the end of 2007”.

Stansted inquiry opens

Noise arguments will be aired as the inquiry opens into plans to expand Stansted airport. BAA wants an extra 75,000 flights a year and the complete removal of the annual 25m limit on the number of passengers.

Rehis seeks feedback

The Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland is urging councils to respond to a Scottish Executive consultation on environmental health. l Consultation on Environment and health Strategic Framework, can be viewed on

Mosquito backlash

MPs have asked Home Office ministers whether there are any environmental impacts or health and safety implications from the increasing use of the Mosquito ultrasonic youth deterrent device.ay 2007 headlines (issue 12)

Inspector rejects noise fears

A planning inspector has rejected noise and air quality fears in an appeal judgement in Sandwell.

Councils plot action week gimmicks ....

Noise Action Week – 21st to 25th May – is looming. l

... as Prime Minister’s petition is set up

To mark Noise Action Week, consultant Sanctum has launched an online petition on noise. l

Survey results

UK is number three UK ranks third best in terms of domestic noise pollution in new Europe-wide survey released to mark International Noise Awareness Day held last month on 25th April.l  The full version of the AEG-Electrolux Noise report can found on www.electrolux .com/noisereport

Tranquillity: a better way

NSCA has set out its thoughts on tranquillity. It has produced a position paper following publication of a TRL report commissioned by Defra that suggested identifying tranquil areas, then knocking out all but a few on cost grounds.

Quiet life aims to cut domestic machine din

Noise campaigner Val Weedon has relaunched her Quiet Life guide. l

Germans show off active window technology

Researchers in Germany have devised a window that offers relief from noise pollution, reports the ICE. l More details on the website

Choppers heads research list

A study into helicopter noise is proposed in the latest list of noise research projects planned by Defra (see news, below).

Research: Defra’s (very long!) wish list

Each year, Defra publishes a long list of noise research projects it wants to carry out. Usually relatively few are carried out due to financial constraints – and Defra overspending and subsequent moratorium’s have taken their toll on the programme. l

CAA outlines procedure for airspace changes

Updated guidance on the application of the Airspace Change Process has been published by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). l The document is available on the CAA website at:

Wind up for turbines

Wind farm noise was the theme of a lively workshop held in Swaffham by the Institute of Acoustics

Consultation: early views on wind

Noise Bulletin asked some experts what they thought about noise aspects of domestic wind turbines contained in last months consultation on deregulation of such turbines. Views were mixed.

Sustainability starts at home

Acoustic performance plays an important part in a building's contribution towards the creation of sustainable developments, says Lisa Russell.

Snap meeting on wind

The spate of planning applications for domestic wind turbines – and planned removal of the need to get planning permission– has prompted NSCA and the Institute of Acoustics to organise a meeting to be held in Birmingham on June 1st

In Parliament

The Government has confirmed in Parliament that it has no intention of ring fencing money for council noise abatement services.

Boy racer Asbos

Aberdeen City Council has warned anti-social drivers that they face tough measures to bar them from city streets in a bid to cut noise and disturbance.

Lacors plea on stats

Local authority group Lacors has urged councils to complete the annual statistical questionnaire on noise enforcement activity. l website

Glastonbury go ahead

The Glastonbury Festival has won a four year licence from Mendip council.

Vibration studied

Defra has released a report aimed to develop a method by which residential exposure to vibration can be assessed.  Human response to vibration in residential environments Quarrying noise

Hepworth Acoustics has updated a database of noise from quarrying machinery. l Update of noise database for prediction of noise on construction and open sites (weblink as above).

Turbine request

Mole Valley’s Gillian Rose is seeking a domestic wind turbine to study for her IoA diploma. If there is a suitable one on your patch, l email Gillian.Rose@

April 2007 headlines (issue 11)

Home wind turbine boost ...

The Government is boosting small scale renewable energy schemes – including domestic wind turbines – through increased grants and relaxation of planning laws.  Domestic installation of microgeneration equipment: a review of the permitted development regulations index.asp?id=1504866

... but noise fears prompt council action

Potential noise problems from domestic turbines dominated discussions at last month’s NSCA spring workshop. The reaction prompted the spontaneous setting up of a special interest working group by Alick Natton of Vale of White Horse District Council. l Natton is coordinating an email ring: alick.natton@

Map areas set

Defra has set out the areas that will need mapping in detail as required by European directives. Areas are more fragmented than at first imagined.  Environmental noise (identification of noise sources) (England) regulations 2007 can be viewed on hindrance to development?

A seemingly obscure guidance document could make it more difficult for developers to get their schemes approved on noise grounds says Lis Stedman l (noise section)

Noise not a national priority

A review of local authority priorities has said that noise is not a national priority. l The Rogers Review can be seen on www.cabinetoffice.

Weak Alton Towers order deal to stand

An appeal against a ‘weak’ nuisance order made against Alton Towers has failed. l reference/view.php?table=transcripts&id=182&flag=name

Boston recounts domestic turbine nuisance

Boston is one of a growing number of authorities that have already dealt with domestic wind turbine nuisance complaints.

Council rapped for ignoring PPG24

The Local Authority Ombudsman has criticised South Cambridgeshire Council for allowing housing to be sited next to a noisy factory. The factory fears that it will be liable for any future noise nuisance claims from new residents.

News from the nsca spring workshop held in didcot

EU mapping: hope for Defra backtrack on local involvement

The NSCA spring workshop heard from both English and Scottish governments on the progress of action planning.

Mediation: how is it going?

Stuart Dryden of consultant Rupert Taylor revealed details of a study into mediation carried out for Defra.

Turbine studied

Bureau Veritas’s Gwyn Mapp told the conference of his personal research study into a domestic wind turbine in south London.

Scots share smoking secrets

Scotland has had a smoking ban since last year, experience there is set to be repeated in England from this summer.

Licensing problems outlined by Horton

Independent environmental health officer Keith Horton outlined many difficulties with the new Licensing Act – for which revised guidance is due out shortly. Horton told the NSCA audience he was “quite concerned about the way licensing is going”.

Soundscapes take centre stage

Acousticians, social scientists and artists alike are becoming more interested the role that soundscapes play in urban life, says Lisa Russell from the recent GLA Soundscape conference.

Licensing: time to change?

As the DCMS concludes a consultation on possible revisions to licensing guidelines, Lis Stedman talks to EHOs about how the process is working

Defra reorganises?

Defra’s noise team is set to undergo yet another reorganisation.

Award scheme

A new environmental award scheme has been launched. l

BAA ‘fast tracks’

Airport operator BAA Ferrovial says it is to ‘twin track’ plans for extra runways at Heathrow and Stansted.

Fit for purpose

The Institute of Acoustics is holding a one day meeting on 11 July 2007 to answer the question How good a measurement should I make to ensure it is fit for purpose?

Code includes sound

The Code for Sustainable Homes released by the Government this month mainly deals with carbon emissions but also focuses on health and well being and the impacts of external sources, such as noise pollution, on quality of life.

Boost for quiet roads

The Highways Agency has said that next year there will be a five fold increase in amount of lower noise road surfacing it will lay.l Highways Agency business plan 2007-2008 website

Horns strangled

The Railway Safety and Standards Board has accepted pressure to reduce nuisance and is introducing new measures intended to reduce the impact of loud train horns.

Action week reminder

Noise Action Week (21-25 May) is looming and NSCA is reminding participants that support materials are available. l

March 2007 headlines (issue 10)

RCEP sidelines urban noise

A high profile report on the urban environment says that noise is “outside the thrust” of its study into the urban environment.l

Wind turbine rejected on appeal

A planning application for a wind turbine in a domestic garden in Aylesbury Vale has been turned down on appeal.

Multiple noises

A consortium assembled by Addiscombe Environmental Consultants Ltd, comprising Ken Collins of KC Environmental, Bernard Berry of BEL, Nicole Porter, and Ian Flindell of IHF Associates have been awarded a research contract by Defra on the effects of noise from more than one source.

Courts allowed to ignore EHOs

A judgement has confirmed that courts are entitled not to follow the views of professional council officers when deciding whether noise amounts to a statutory nuisance.l London Borough of Hackney Vs Moshe Rottenberg [2007] All ER (D) 174 (Jan)

 Westminster wins street noise case

Westminster City Council has won arguments in court that it had powers to control noise from a shop window. l Westminster City Council v French Connection Retail Ltd [2005] Env LR 42. (Queens Bench Division).

Serve abatement notice first, Newcastle told

Newcastle City Council has lost a High Court case and been told it should have first served an abatement notice on a farmer causing a nuisance.l The Barns (NE) Ltd v Newcastle Upon Tyne CC [2006] Env LR 25 (Court of Appeal, Civ. Div.)

Kenwood stopper

Kenwood concerts have been cancelled with promoter English Heritage claiming that noise restrictions are too tight.

Councils prepare for action

Local authorities across the UK are making plans for this year’s Noise Action Week. Many local authorities set up eyecatching media-friendly noise activities for the period.l

Solar noise barriers “not cost effective”

Combined noise barrier and solar panels are unlikely to be cost effective.

Air noise

Southwest London will suffer increased aircraft noise if the third Heathrow runway goes ahead. l M27 trial of highway noise barriers as solar energy generators, TRL report PPR178, D Carder and K Barker is available from Janet Brown, TRL Publications Unit tel 01344 770297

Persistent complainers

The Information Commissioner has struck another blow to persistent complainers in a new ruling.

west London will suffer increased aircraft noise if the third Heathrow runway goes ahead. l

Warnings on Heathrow routes

The new council 2M grouping fighting the expansion of Heathrow says large areas of north and west London will suffer increased aircraft noise if the third Heathrow runway goes ahead. l 2M (referring to two million residents) website is on Home/MyWandsworth/ Newsextra/pr1.htm

‘Noisiest city’ report annoys

A report ranking cities has concluded that Newcastle upon Tyne is the noisiest urban area in the UK.

First shot fired in anti Heathrow battle

As promised, protesters against the further expansion of Heathrow have started direct action to resist the expansion by disrupting a meeting.

How and when to use the WHO

The World Health Organisation (WHO) noise guidelines are highly influential but their application often leads to disagreements. Lisa Russell reports.

Pro-bono aid Sanctum style

Questioning the decisions of authorities and the courts can be a minefield – Sanctum provides an interesting way through, finds Lis Stedman

Quiet areas and vibration reports released

Defra has released two research reports. One was TRL’s study into quiet areas setting out possible ways that tranquil areas could be identified. A second looks at a methodology for assessing a method by which human exposure to vibration in residential environments can be assessed.  Research into quiet areas: recommendations for identification, TRL report PPR158 and Research into human response to vibration in residential environments (NO01106) can be viewed on Defra’s science pages

Slight growth in noise contours for 2005

DfT has released its yearly review of noise contours at the three main London airports.l aviation/environmentalissues/nec/secnoise05/

Tyre directive delay

European transport and environment lobby group T&E is getting increasingly concerned at the failure of the Commission to produce a promised directive on noise from car tyres.

Noise workshop talks

NSCA has released its final line up of speakers for its popular spring noise workshop to be held in Didcot later this month (15th & 16th March).

Pipe down again

A ten minute Bill has been introduced into the House of Lords aiming to prohibit piped music and the showing of television programmes in the public areas of hospitals.

MVA win at Heathrow

BAA has commissioned MVA Consultancy to design, build, implement, and support a system to manage BAA Heathrow’s community noise, blight, and vortex schemes. l

Belgians win order

Belgian air protesters have won a court battle against local authorities.

RAC wants quiet roads

The RAC Foundation has teamed up with noise campaigners to call on the Government to reinstate funding for its programme to resurface concrete roads for noise prevention reasons.

Hounslow demands data

The London Borough of Hounslow has approved its first domestic micro-wind turbine subject to a noise report.

Turbine tests

Researchers are mounting two wind turbines on top of a block of Southwark flats in a bid to find out about their noise disturbance potential.

Wind debate

The Institute of Acoustics is organising a one day conference on wind turbine noise.l IoA’s meetings can be viewed on

January/February 2007 headlines (issue 9)

Planning for home turbines

Local authorities are increasingly facing requests from residents to install domestic wind turbines. Some are carrying out tests to see what the noise outputs are. (Noise Bulleting this month contains a news story and a eature explaining what local authorities are doing about home electricity generation in terms of noise nuisance conditions).

Trafford Housing Trust wins ASBI

The Trafford Housing Trust has taken out an ASBI against a noisy tenant. ASBIs are anti social behaviour injunctions as opposed to orders.

Moto injunction

A noisy motorcross circuit at Matcham Park near Bournemouth has been at the centre of a planning appeal.

Measurement not needed for noise order

A quad bike safari business in Cornwall has lost its appeal against a conviction for breaching an abatement notice.

Persistent moaners: what to do

The Local Government Ombudsman has issued advice on how to deal with persistent complainers. l Guidance note on ‘unreasonably persistent’ complainants and ‘unreasonable complainant behaviour’ can be viewed on

IoA welcomes sustainable homes code

The Institute of Acoustics has welcomed inclusion of sound insulation in the Government’s Code for Sustainable Homesl The IoA is holding a two-day conference on The sound of sustainability – going for gold” on 24 and 25 April 2007 at the De Vere University Arms Hotel in Cambridge. website

Train horns: curfew fails to please

The Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) is proposing a night time curfew as part of a package to reduce train horn nuisance. l RSSB website

2007: year of the strategy?

2007 is “probably the most crucial year for noise reduction” according to the UK Noise Association.

Progress report prompts battle charge

Protesters have reacted with dismay to Government confirmation that it will support continued expansion of air travel.

Local authorities were more measured, forming the ‘2M’ group

Exhaust noise: study into measurement

The House of Commons has been told that DfT is “considering” research into the growing problem of excessive car exhaust noise.

Traffic noise probe

UKNA has set up a traffic and vehicle noise working group to look at the issue of noisy vehicles, including ‘boom box’ cars. It is currently carrying out an online questionnaire on the subject.

Keeping arrival noise down

Government and the aviation industry have cooperated to produce a code of practice to reduce noise from arriving aircraft.l Noise from arriving aircraft

Welsh consult

The Welsh Assembly is consulting on its regulations for extending Noise Act powers to pubs and clubs.l consultations/currentconsultation/envandcouncurrcons/1054147/?lang=e 

TRL’s toolkit

TRL has produced a traffic noise reduction toolkit.

Orchestra noise probe

A professional orchestra piloted guidance for the music and entertainment sector on the Control of Noise at Work Regulations, a Health and Safety Executive report suggests. l More details www.hsenew

Flight noise tool

A tool for the calculation of sound power levels of airplanes during vertical flyover from NPD-SEL data can be downloaded from the Imagine website. l

Action week dates

Noise Action Week will take place on May 21st—May 25th – although funding problems remain.l

Tyre directive pressure

Lobby groups are limbering up to influence the European Commission to tighten the tyre directive.

December 2006 headlines (issue 8)

Tranquillity: defined by cost?
Increasing focus on tranquillity has left Defra and its advisors struggling to work out how to define it. Defra may compile its sites based on affordability rather than noise or tranquillity.

Noisy boy racer catches Worthing ASBO
Worthing Borough Council has succeeded in getting an Asbo against a noisy boy racer.

News from the Institute of Acoustics Autumn Conference

More flak for single number
Defra’s use of a single number for noise disturbance from pubs and clubs has come under criticism at an Institute of Acoustics conference.

Euro-approval delays number implementation
Defra says that it has agreed that the Noise Act threshold for fixed penalties will be 34dBA – but that there has been a delay in putting it into regulation.

Guidelines due: Waiting for Godot?
The long awaited noise impact assessment guidelines may soon be published. Author Stephen Turner of Bureau Veritas admitted that the process was rather like ‘waiting for Godot’.

Maps. Little benefit till 2017
Policy makers will have to wait until 2017 before noise maps are able to yield useful data on the noise climate, Acustica’s Simon Shilton has claimed.

Cranford abandonment: doubles annoyance?
Abandonment of the Heathrow ‘Cranford Agreement’ could have huge implications for the population living underneath the flightpath.

WHO switches emphasis to soundscapes
A key architect of World Health Organisation guidelines on noise has suggested that WHO guidelines are not likely to be met – and that a move towards looking to improving ‘soundscapes’ is needed to improve health.

Conference proceedings
Proceedings from the Autumn Conference are available from Linda Canty, Institute of Acoustics 01727 848195

Stansted setback
Stansted Airport has had its expansion plans refused by Uttlesford District Council, the local planning authority.

Engineering award
The Institute of Acoustics (IOA) has awarded its Engineering Medal to Brian Hemsworth for his contribution to the understanding of railway noise and vibration. The medal was presented by Colin English, President of the Institute of Acoustics, at its recent Autumn Conference in Oxford.


Scotland guide is draft
Further to our report last month, we’ve been asked to emphasise that the Scottish Noise Management Guide remains in draft form and open to consultation.

l It can be viewed on Publications/2005/10/ 2192231/22434

MPs study motorbikes
The House of Commons Transport Committee is to conduct an inquiry into the Government’s Motorcycling Strategy, with oral evidence sessions being held in early 2007.

Classroom deafness
One in five children struggle to distinguish speech in the classroom says RNID.

l RNID’s specially developed hearing check can be taken over the telephone by calling 0845 600 5555. It is part of Breaking the sound barrier, www.breakingthesound

AES accreditation
AES has been granted accreditation for its sound insulation testing service by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service.


2006 website review

November 2006 headlines (issue 7)

Maps no good for Leeds
Leeds City Council has decided to produce its own noise maps – it says Defra’s strategic noise maps will be of little use for its local needs.

Charge mooted for London choppers
A charge for helicopters using London’s skies is one option contained in the report of the London Assembly into helicopters. The report followed an inquiry in summer.

Another night flight challenge
The London boroughs of Richmond and Wandsworth are among a group seeking a judicial review of the Government’s Heathrow night flights policy. A similar challenge failed when taken to Europe three year ago.

Defra late say Lords
Lords MPs are considering whether Defra has failed to adequately transpose the Environmental Noise Directive.

l ldmerit/250/250.pdf

News from the NSCA Noise update conference held in Birmingham

Hartnell spells out regs progress
Regulations are now laid in England and the three regions, Defra’s Wendy Hartnell told NSCA’s noise update conference held in Birmingham.

Hepworth: much work to do on mapping
Peter Hepworth outlined a consultants’ view of noise mapping. Hepworth was involved in one of the early maps released by Defra.

NSCA advises on being a quiet neighbour
NSCA – with support from Defra – has released a new guide aiming to help residents keep neighbour noise down.


Drink laws cause a stink
Jonathan Lartice of Defra fielded criticism from local authorities about changes to the pub licensing system. With the Home Office and DCLG departments unable to attend, it was left to Defra to defend changes that many considered unworkable.

Ovens now kitchen culprit, says Electrolux
So much effort has been focused on making kitchen appliances quiet that cookers have been left behind, says Electrolux’s Marco Clara.

Moorhouse moots low frequency ‘clinics’
Salford University’s Andy Moorhouse outlined work carried out for Defra on producing guidance for local authorities investigating low frequency noise.

Encams happy
Environmental lobbyists Encams reported back on the progress of its Noise Concern campaign.

CPRE fuels tranquillity debate
Countryside campaigners CPRE say they have developed a new way to map rural tranquillity.

l The maps can be viewed on

‘Silent’ plane progress
Researchers from Cambridge University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) say they are one step closer to producing quieter aircraft. T


Leeds win John Connell award once again
Leeds City Council has won this year’s John Connell award – for the third time.  Meanwhile Huntingdonshire was highly commended for its education work with children with environmental health officers going to schools. Bromley London Borough won the innovation award for its ‘safe and sound’ scheme. The enterprise award went to Shetland Islands Council


UKNA polls firework feeling
The UK Noise Association has launched an on-line survey to assess public support for banning the sale of fireworks.


ANC completes 50,000th test
The Association of Noise Consultants (ANC) has celebrated completion of the 50,000th test of compliance to Part E sound insulation requirements.

l website

No rap for Amber
The local authority Ombudsman has said that a skate park is noisy – but Amber Valley did not break the rules by allowing it.

Workshop on presenting mapping information to the public

UK hosts mapping thinktank
An international workshop held in London looked at ways that noise maps can be effectively presented to the public. There has been criticism that noise maps take much time and money to produce, and are posted on the web but then languish with little interest from the public.

GLA’s Bloomfield in blue sky thinking
The Greater London Authority provided the noise mapping conference with its usual insightful ‘blue sky’ thinking.

101 in trouble
The single non-emergency 101 number may be scrapped.

Silent delivery code
Guidance on quieter deliveries has been agreed by the truck industry in a bid to ease delivery curfews on stores. T

l Delivering the goods: A toolkit for improving deliveries is at

UK lays regs to enact directive
Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have all now joined England in bringing regulations into operation to enact the European Noise Directive (END).

‘Bible’ produced at last
Publication of the updated noise management guide gives local authorities the opportunity for greater consistency

October 2006 headlines (issue 6)

Regs laid – concern remains
Defra has laid regulations enacting the European Noise Directive.

l Environmental Noise (England) Regulations 2006 can be viewed on

NSCA raises licensing fears
NSCA has commented on proposed changes to apply the Noise Act to licensed premises

Consultants win EHO debate
Consultants meet the needs of local authorities, an Institute of Acoustics Central Branch debate concluded in Stevenage last month.

DIY wind power
DIY retailer B&Q is now selling domestic wind turbines in its stores. For £1,498 including installation, shoppers can buy a Windsave 1kw system.


Home turbine agreed
The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead has dismissed noise objections to a domestic wind turbine at a house in the borough.

Scotland makes a start on noise mapping
A team led by consultant Hamilton & McGregor has been chosen by the Scottish Executive to carry out provide noise mapping Services in Scotland.

Noise Bulletin reports from Low Frequency 2006 held in Bristol

Turbine disease link refuted
Wind turbines are unlikely to cause vibro acoustic disease as claimed by some objectors, last month’s Low Frequency 2006 international conference held in Bristol was told.

Quiet means more low frequency nuisance
Reducing ambient sound may prompt more people to be disturbed by low frequency noise, the Bristol conference was told.

Purring: low frequency noise is good for you?
US research presented to the Low Frequency 2006 conference suggests that low frequency noise has significant healing properties.

l Proceedings
Proceedings from the Low Frequency 2006 conference are available from organiser

News from the UKNA Within these walls conference in Edinburgh

MEP criticises noise inaction
MEP Brian Adam criticised noise policy at the opening of the UK Noise Association’s Within these walls conference on sound insulation held at Napier University last month.

Ashton counts true cost of housing noise
Ron Ashton manages houses for Angus Council and told the UKNA conference: “Noise is the big one for us making up to 76% of complaints. Arbitration and mediation hasn’t worked at all, costing £800 per case with a 35% success rate and taking a long time.

Call for young persons nominations
The Institute of Acoustics is inviting nominations for the second round of its ‘Young Persons’ Award for Innovation in Acoustical Engineering’. The biennial prize is sponsored by IAC and the closing date is 30 March 2007. Judges will be looking for entries that are: innovative and inventive; feasible and practicable; money-saving; green; end-user friendly; time-saving and that are improvements to existing processes.


RSD progress
Robust Standard Details Ltd says 97% of new homes it tests pass or exceed new Part E sound insulation requirements.


Colchester’s first Asbo
Colchester Borough Council has secured its first Asbo based on noise.

Transport assessment
DfT is consulting on new transport assessment guidance for developers.

l Guidance on transport assessment can be seen on

IoA spring call
IoA’s spring conference will focus on the up and coming Olympics in 2012 and other related issues and it is calling for papers on topics including sustainability, venues/facades, transport, modular construction, urban regeneration, update on schools & BB101, and sound insulation


Good neighbours
The DCLG (former ODPM) has set out how good neighbour agreements can be used to help cut anti social behaviour and noise.

l Using good neighbour agreements

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Aug/Sept 2006 headlines (issue 5)

Website review: see our list of top non-local authority sites and top ten local authority sites

Wind ‘modulation’ annoys
A DTi new report has cleared wind turbines of causing widespread low frequency noise nuisance. But it does concede modulation (that sounds like low frequency noise) might be a problem.

l The measurement of low frequency noise at three UK wind farms by Hayes McKenzie can be viewed on page31267.html

UKNA warn on wind noise
The UK Noise Association (UKNA) has warned that badly sited wind turbines can cause noise nuisance. In contrast to the Hayes McKenzie report, it reports numerous instances of noise nuisance resulting from wind turbines.

l Location, location, location by John Stewart of the UKNA, can be viewed on

Scotland 1, England 0
Scotland has beaten England in its struggle to get the noise management ‘bible’ published.

l The Executive consulted on the guide last year, responses were generally positive and can be viewed on

Horn costs vastly outweigh benefits
Costs and benefits of train horns have been analysed by Alaska scientists.

Reading: case closed
Reading Council has decided not to appeal against a court judgement that obliged it to pay for a resident’s double glazing to cut traffic noise. In March 2005 resident

NI complaints rise
New statistics reveal that noise complaints have risen in Northern Ireland by 13% in 2005/06 compared to the previous year.

l The report can be viewed at

Money to tackle minimotos
Home secretary John Reid has announced that £200,000 funding will be made available to local authorities to tackle noisy minimotos.

Open air music events too noisy
Noise levels at open air pop events are well above action levels and few staff appear to wear protection, a Health and Safety Executive investigation in Scotland has revealed.

l Assessment of noise exposure to various persons working at T in the Park can be viewed on

Noisy playground expansion refused
A long running planning battle between residents and a local school about playground noise has finally been resolved.

Bradshaw urged to resist budget cuts
Three noise groups have come together to urge noise minister Ben Bradshaw to resist cuts to noise policy budgets.

Quieter tyres yield huge benefits
Quieter tyres would yield benefits ten times greater than the costs, a TRL report suggests.

l Tyre/road noise: assessment of the existing and proposed tyre noise limits, Greg Watts et al, Report number PPR077 is available from Janet Brown TRL Publications Unit 01344 770297

Bristol studies air link
Bristol City Council has embarked on a project to map environmental noise which may be affected by the introduction of a low emission zone (LEZ) in the city.


HA noise target met
The Highways Agency 2005/06 annual report says the agency met its target for treating roads with quieter surfaces.

l The annual report can be viewed on

Stokenchurch worst
Stokenchurch is the worst location studied in a noise review of the M40 motorway, a TRL report produced for the Highways Agency suggests.

l An assessment of noise hotspots alongside the M4 can be viewed on

‘Young’ acousticians sought
The Institute of Acoustics, is inviting nominations for its Tyndall Medal for 2008.

l Nomination details, closing date 31 October 2006.

No more flights
The Government has confirmed it will not attempt to reintroduce relaxations on movements limits for night flights at London airports.

Hot debate
Tensions between councils and noise consultants will be explored in a debate being organised by the Institute of Acoustics Central Branch.


Website review
We've been visiting noise websites and have ranked about one hundred - here's a taster: )

Non local authority sites:
1st Don’t lose the music
2nd Noise Concern
3rd National Society for Clean Air
4th Noise Action Week
5th Health & Safety Executive
6th Hepworth Acoustics
7th Mel Kenyon’s Noisenet
8th IAC
9th Stop Stansted Expansion Campaign
10th Institute of Acoustics

Local authority sites (interactive links coming)
1st London Borough of Westminster
2nd Cambridge City Council
3rd London Borough of  Southwark
4th Lancaster City Council
5th Stratford on Avon District Council
6th Ashfield District Council
7th London Borough of Greenwich
8th Swansea City Council
9th Woking Borough Council
10th London Borough of Brent

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July 2006 headlines (issue 4)

Pub noise regs proposed
Defra is consulting on regulations that can be used to control adhoc noise from pubs and clubs. New regulations have been prompted by the Licensing Act that allows pubs and clubs to open later.

l The consultation is available at: corporate/consult/ noiseact-guidance.

Noiseconcern launch
Environmental charity Encams is launching its Noiseconcern campaign aimed at noisemakers.


Police abandon car exhaust enforcement?
A Hampshire resident has been told by police that there will be no police action taken on excessively loud vehicle exhausts.

Two councils criticised
District Council failed to enforce planning conditions at a pub skittle alley, and has been told to pay £3,000 to the complainant for unnecessary noise nuisance. Meanwhile in a separate ruling, Breckland Council failed to consider noise nuisance from a skate park at the planning stage.

Edinburgh gets tough on noisy aircraft
Aircraft that break stated noise limits are to be fined under plans unveiled by Edinburgh Airport.

Footpath closure key to tackling train horns?
Faced with both a private and local authority nuisance prosecution, Network Rail has agreed to consider closing foot crossings at Ardleigh in Essex to reduce nuisance from sounding of train horns.

Juggling noise and climate change stresses
The need to combat climate change impacts can conflict with the need to ensure houses are quiet, last month’s IoA research conference held in Birmingham was told. Glazing standards appear to be inadequate to prevent noise disturbance.

Planning burden lifted for wind turbines
England has followed on from Scotland in its push to encourage domestic power generation. Householders will be given permitted development rights to make it easier to install wind turbines without the need for planning permission (Noise Bulletin June p3). It is claimed that such turbines do not cause a noise nuisance.

Village hall event cap retained
A cap of 12 events a year has been retained for events held at village halls under temporary events notices.
Air research fillip
Europe is spending more money on aeronautics research, including ambitious targets for cutting plane noise.

l research/future

Breckland wind fall
Breckland Council has been told by a government inspector to pay costs following loss of a planning appeal on wind turbines.

Bus quality move
Guidance has been issued by the DfT on how quality bus partnerships can work. Local authorities can use such partnerships to include conditions on bus contracts to clean up noise and emissions. l groups/dft_localtrans/documents/page/dft_localtrans_611921.hcsp

AVT wins approval
AV Technology has gained UKAS accreditation for pre-completion testing of new houses (for airborne and impact noise).

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June 2006 headlines (issue 3)

Surprise as LAeq judged best
Experts reacted with surprise to news that the absolute LAeq metric has proved the best measure for judging one-off entertainment noise disturbance.

Neighbour noise advert campaign nears
Encams is to launch a new publicity campaign on neighbourhood noise next month. Faced with complaints from existing noise pressure groups, it has agreed to fund extra telephone support at the Noise Abatement Society.

Griffiths splits from Capita
Five consultants have split from Capita Symonds to set up Vanguardia Consulting.

No funds for noise consultation
A planned consultation meeting on the noise strategy is being postponed due to lack of funds.

Footpath closures avoid horn nuisance?
Railway infrastructure owner Network Rail has been served a second nuisance notice because of train horn noise at Ardleigh in Essex.

News from the IOa research Conference held in Birmingham

BRE lists hotspot benefits
The Highways Agency ‘hotspots’ programme is having some success at reducing noise. However the programme is much reduced in scope compared to recent years.

Rail roughness to be added to CRN method
IoA delegates heard that rail roughness factors must be used to make the standard Calculation of Rail Noise (CRN) methodology more accurate.

Insulation probe call
Leading noise medic Stephen Stansfeld says research into sound insulation in schools is urgently needed.

Halving noise ‘on the cards’
Mike Swanyck of aircraft engine maker Rolls Royce has said that halving of aircraft noise is now ‘really on the cards’.

Domestic turbines pushed
Scotland is providing advice and funding to boost uptake of ‘micro’ energy generation – small scale electricity generation such as domestic wind turbines.
l PAN45 can be viewed on the planning section of

Green scoring omits noise
Campaigners have criticised the government’s announcement to grade homes for energy efficiency, saying it is a missed opportunity to include sound insulation.

Partial victory for night flight disturbance
The long running consultation on night flights at London airports as drawn to a close with some concessions to both the airline industry and airport protesters.

l  More details on dft_aviation_611809.hcsp

Hinton in waiting
Institute of Acoustics president Colin English has announced that Birmingham City Council’s John Hinton is joining the IoA council as president elect.

Half a million move
Around half a million people have moved home in the last year because of noise, according to a new Ipsos MORI survey carried out for NSCA as part of Noise Action Week.

Noise omitted from green space paper

The Department for Communities and Local Government has commissioned research on mapping of green spaces. No mention is made of noise or tranquillity.
l website link uk/index.asp?id=1500480

Guest opinion:
Nargis Kayani, Sanctum Consultants, argues against taking away powers to serve nuisance notices in the Magistrates courts.

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May 2006 headlines (issue 2)

Train horns prompt public and private nuisance actions
Pressure on Network Rail to cut train horn noise is growing with a nuisance action served on the railway infrastructure group.

Hot tubs cause ‘pure tone’ disturbance
The new fashion for hot tubs has caused problems for Bracknell Forest residents and its environmental health officers.

Mapping progresses
Defra says progress is continuing on its noise mapping England project. Work is also continuing on the European Noise Directive regulations which Defra expects to lay before Parliament this Summer.

ODPM becomes DCLG
In Prime Minister Tony Blair’s recent shake up of the Cabinet, David Miliband has been appointed environment secretary, replacing Margaret Beckett.

Ombudsman rap for Weymouth
The local authority Ombudsman has criticised Weymouth and Portland Borough Council for failing to adequately carry out its nuisance responsibilities.

Casella sold as new dosebadge launched
Noise monitoring firm Casella Cel has launched the new Cel350 dosebadge. Meanwhile parent firm Casella Measurement has been sold to US firm Ideal Industries.

l More details on the Cel350 on

Chinook payout
The Ministry of Defence has paid £7,000 in compensation to a homeowner in Hampshire who said noise and vibration from Chinook helicopters had damaged his house.

Tesco softens image
Tesco supermarket chief Sir Terry Leahy has pledged new stores will be better neighbours in future.

Noise reduction toolkit from TRL
TRL has published details of a traffic noise reduction ‘toolkit’. In the second of a pair of TRL reports, noise barriers are reviewed.

l TRL project report PPR046 Noise barrier review  PPR047 Traffic noise reduction toolkit press/archive.asp?pid=135

Eviction for noisy Tyneside tenants
North Tyneside Council has used tenancy agreements to evict noisy neighbours in one of its housing developments.

Joseph to leave NSCA
National Society for Clean Air secretary general Martin Joseph is to leave the NSCA after just months in the post.

Logging software out
Improved logging software for the long term monitoring of broadband and spectrum data is now available to support Bruel & Kjaer’s Type 2250 fourth generation hand-held analyser.

Noise action week imminent
Noise Action Week, coordinated by the NSCA, is taking place from 22 – 26 May.

l Further details, see

PPG24 still holds
A planning appeal inspector has told developers that PPG24 noise exposure bands still hold sway despite the ongoing review of the noise planning guidelines.

Heathrow night flight cap accepted
A temporary cap on night flight numbers has been accepted by the Government to avoid a further setback for the Civil Aviation Bill.

Looney joins Temple
Dr John Henry Looney is joining Temple as operations director.

Highway plans
The Highways Agency says it will treat 110 lane km of roads with low noise surfaces in its forward business plan.

Harmonoise delivers
A new version of the Harmonoise Point-to-Point propagation model is available free of charge.


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April 2006 headlines (issue 1)

Edition one is printed!
Launch customer John Coates of London Borough of Richmond (left) with Noise Bulletin editor Jack Pease

Defra rejoins nuisance and environmental noise strategies
Environmental and neighbourhood noise policy are to be merged in the forthcoming national strategy. And Defra has also indicated a large shake up of industrial noise nuisance law.

Legal action starts on horn noise
The railway industry is being hit with legal action on train horn noise.

First noise maps handed to Defra
Consultants Entec and Hepworth Acoustics are the first of many consultants to complete noise mapping for Defra’s Noise Mapping England project.

When the cock crows
Daventry District Council has taken a cock owner to court for breach of a noise abatement notice.

Sandpit ‘ideas factory’ thinktank sets out noisy future workplan
A ‘sandpit’ meeting of invited noise specialists held earlier this year is proposing a £1.5m research bonanza. l The soundscape project has its own homepage which carries further details: uk/soundscape

Workplace noise rules now in – but not for pubs & clubs
New standards have been introduced aimed at reducing and eventually eliminating workplace noise injuries.  This can be downloaded from indg362.pdf

New powers to tackle alarm noise
Powers under the Clean Neighbourhoods Act have come into force. The Act covers issues such as littering, graffiti and noise. l Guidance: news/2005/050408a.htm

Noise unrelated to property values claims
Flindell A study of property values suggests that a noisy environment does not depress house prices.

New chief executive for IoA as Bratby retires
The Institute of Acoustics has appointed Kevin Macan-Lind as its new chief executive. He will succeed Roy Bratby who is retiring after nine years with the IOA.

Dial 101 for noise
A single, memorable number – 101 – is being trialed as an alternative to the 999 emergency number. l Focus falls on flights after Lords defeat Campaigners near busy airports are fighting several proposals that are set to increase the number of flights, reports Lisa Russell.

All you need to know about insulation
Lis Stedman uncovers a staggeringly useful 300 page guide on sound insulation that must surely become a bible for both professionals and DIY’ers To obtain a copy of the guide, visit where an electronic version can be downloaded or a paper version ordered. EMP homepage click here back to top