Environment Law Update – Noise

United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Noise and nuisance

DEFRA has published a series of research reports on noise and nuisance. The purpose of the reports is to assist in the implementation of the Environmental Noise Directive (2002/49/EC). They should also help in developing a national ambient noise strategy (NANS), the government's plan to develop an integrated and targeted approach to noise both locally and nationally. The first of these reports looks at the relationship between track roughness and noise generated from railways and concludes that it can significantly increase the noise generated. As this can be remedied to a large extent by grinding of rails it suggests this course of action could be a valid approach under the Directive and NANS. A second report on aircraft noise mapping at Heathrow Airport investigated the technical issues around noise contours produced by undertaking noise mapping. Under the Directive, greater monitoring of night-time flights (between 23:00 and 07:00) will be required. In a third study, noise mapping of industrial sources was investigated. It was concluded that there is currently no formal national method for predicting noise from industry. The study investigated the possibility of whether a method for characterising the noise levels from an industrial complex could be derived. A possible methodology that was simple, reproducible and robust was identified and further work is now underway to refine this method. It will then be piloted at certain locations in the UK.

(DEFRA, March 2004)

For further information please contact Mark Rutter at [email protected].