PO3 Noise Policy
Development will only be permitted where noise arising from the proposal will not cause unacceptable intrusion or persistent nuisance. In considering such proposals, the Local Planning Authority will have particular regard to:
(i) the location of the proposal in relation to noise-sensitive development or land-uses;
(ii) the existing overall level of background noise within the locality;
(iii) the level, tone, duration and regularity of noise likely to be emitted by the proposal, including any subsequent increase that may be expected in the foreseeable future; and
(iv) the provision made within the proposals for the mitigation or insulation of noise.
Where anticipated noise levels are considered to be within manageable proportions, the Local Planning Authority may grant planning permission subject to conditions related to the siting, screening or enclosure of noise sources; the limitation of operating times, especially outside normal working hours; the restriction of noisy activities to specified areas of the site; and other measures designed to reduce noise levels at source. Where relevant, the Local Planning Authority may specify target noise limits and seek to enforce them by means of legal agreement.
Reasoned justification :
21.9 Noise can cause considerable disturbance especially when a noisy activity is introduced into an area where normal noise levels are low. While statutory provisions for the control of noise exist within legislation outside the Town and Country Planning Acts, the planning system is still the most appropriate mechanism for tackling potential noise problems from new development, at the outset, by ensuring that noise-generating proposals are located and designed to prevent conflict with neighbouring land-uses.
21.10 Residential areas, schools, hospitals and other similar types of use are particularly sensitive to disturbance from noise. However, noise levels need to be considered in relation to local circumstances. Where background noise levels are already high, for example, within an existing industrial zone, busy commercial area, or near an existing major road, the introduction of additional noise may not be so significant. Policy PO3, therefore, specifically provides for the protection of noise-sensitive development but also allows for background noise, the nature and type of noise to be introduced, and the overall increase in noise levels caused by the new development, to be considered in coming to a planning decision.
21.11 In many cases, the impact of noise can be reduced through improved design and other restrictions on the use of the site. The Local Planning Authority will normally ensure that measures necessary in order to minimise noise intrusion will be undertaken as a condition of planning consent, providing these are reasonable to apply. Planning permission will only normally be refused where the increase in noise within an area would be unacceptable and it is clear that noise levels could not be kept within tolerable limits