The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) announced that it has amended its planning practice guidance on noise. The amendments have been done to protect existing businesses when new residential developments are built nearby. Pubs, music venues and similar businesses are no longer required to install sound-proofing, which can be costly to an owner of a business where music is played, without them being at risk of facing proceedings for statutory noise nuisance.
The test for statutory nuisance has been amended to incorporate some factors that a local authority should consider when assessing if a noise nuisance exists. For example the noise level, the duration of the noise, how often it occurs, the time of day or night that it occurs and the character of the locality in which the noise is heard.
The DCLG have also updated the section of the planning guidance which deals with factors indicating when noise should be a concern. The DCLG have incorporated advice to local authorities on how to avoid enforcement action being taken by residents of new developments against existing businesses, including whether as part of the development, measures should have been put in place to optimise sound insulation in the building envelope during development.
While this will be music to the ears of local businesses this will no doubt work against residential developers.
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