Guidance rating industry noise impact on homes under revision

The guidance used by local authorities to prevent noise complaints from new industrial development has been revised and is out for consultation. Gwyn Mapp of Amledd gives and outline of its purpose and the main changes in the document, and encourages all who work with the document to respond to the consultation.

BS4142:1997 – Method for Rating Industrial Noise Affecting Mixed Residential and Industrial Areas is a British Standard that is mainly used by Local Authorities in the planning process to try and design out noise problems. It does this by estimating whether complaints are likely or not.

This standard is a general document that applies to “noise of an industrial nature” so any type of fans, engines, coolant systems and the like. It covers most things from small air conditioning units on a pub to very large factories.

As the standard is a general document, is not used to assess developments where there are specific rules, so, for example, mines, quarries and wind farms, are typically not covered by this standard.

The British Standard Institution are currently consulting for a revision of BS4142. The consultation is available here http://drafts.bsigroup.com and the deadline for comments is the 30th April 2014 (by coincidence International Noise Awareness Day).

The proposed new standard is substantially different to the current version. Changes in the consultation draft include altering the following wording:

  • Assesses whether the noise is likely to cause a “significant adverse impact” instead of “likelihood of complaints”;
  • It states that the standard can be used to investigate complaints;
  • Includes the need for weather monitoring when carrying out noise assessments;
  • Includes a more involved measurement procedure;
  • Includes a more complex assessment of acoustic features;
  • Includes the need to consider uncertainty.

Amledd have considered the document in detail and posted their opinion on the merit of each of the changes -t http://amledd.com/2014/04/24/bs4142-a-change-for-the-better/.  We urge professionals who use the standard to respond to the consultation.





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