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Residential Noise Surveys & Assessment

Metrica has extensive experience undertaking residential noise assessments

If you are applying for planning permission for a new residential development or the Change of Use of an existing building near to an existing source of noise, it is likely that a residential Noise Impact Assessment will need to be submitted with your application

Metrica has extensive experience undertaking residential noise assessments to ensure future residents are not adversely impacted by existing noise sources such as roads, railways, industrial developments or events venues.

Where a new residential dwelling is to be built near to an existing source of noise, an assessment in line with BS 8233:2014 Guidance on sound insulation and noise reduction for buildings is generally undertaken, often supplemented by guidance specified in ProPG: Planning and Noise, and / or the World Health Organisation’s Guidelines for Community Noise.

Specific guidance for developments in Scotland also includes PAN 1/2011 Planning and Noise and its accompanying Technical Advice Note Assessment of Noise.

We have experience providing noise assessments for single dwellings to some of the UK’s largest residential and mixed-use developments. Many of the developments we have worked on are in acoustically complex environments, comprising multiple existing noise sources which needed careful consideration to ensure good living and sleeping conditions for future residents.

Initial Noise Review and Provision of Good Acoustic Design Advice

Many new residential developments are located close to existing noise sources, particularly those in urban environments. Because of this, we are often required to demonstrate that the design of a new residential development should demonstrate ‘good acoustic design’ in terms of the ProPG: Planning and Noise.

Demonstrating good acoustic design requires that the development has been designed to minimise noise impacts from the outset, without simply relying on the building envelope to achieve a high sound insulation performance. For those developments which are proposed close to noise-emitting businesses such as factories or entertainment venues, the ‘Agent of Change’ principal is an additional factor to consider. Under the Agent of Change principle, planning decisions should ensure any new development is appropriate for its location.

Before planning permission is granted, any noise issues must be mitigated and reduced to a minimum to avoid unreasonable restrictions being placed on existing noise-generating businesses as a result of a noise-sensitive development that arrives after them.

When commissioned, Metrica will undertake an initial desk-based noise review of the acoustic environment and the indicative development masterplan to identify potential risks related to the Agent of Change principle, and opportunities for incorporating Good Acoustic Design.


Metrica will consult with the relevant Local Authority and other stakeholders at the outset of the project to agree the scope and methodology of the assessment. In addition, we will discuss and agree the internal and external noise limits against which the existing noise sources will be assessed. Where possible, we will seek to agree criteria that allow the greatest flexibility in the development design.

This early consultation approach helps to ensure that the development is designed in line with the agreed criteria, and prevents delays or design changes post-submission.

Noise Monitoring

Where required, Metrica will undertake baseline noise monitoring. This may involve unattended monitoring over several days and nights to determine the existing level of noise at the development site, and / or a number of spot measurements of specific noise sources.

Modern Apartment block architecture property

Noise Modelling and Prediction

For acoustically complex or large developments, predictions of noise on the façades of the proposed dwellings is often undertaken using 3D noise modelling software.

Measurements undertaken during the noise survey are used to determine the noise levels emitted individual sources such as local roads, rail lines or industrial areas, which are then modelled individually within the software along with the local topography, existing buildings, and the proposed development. The resulting noise levels at the façades of the proposed dwellings are then calculated and used to specify the noise insulation performance of the building envelope.

Residential Noise Survey Report

Once predictions confirm that the Development will meet both the internal and external assessment criteria, Metrica will provide a robust, concise residential noise assessment, summarising the noise monitoring survey, noise predictions and the building envelope acoustic specifications required to meet the assessment criteria.

The report can be submitted as part of the planning application to demonstrate that the amenity of new residents will not be unreasonably impacted by noise.