New development has the potential to be impacted by or cause impact to the environment. In either instance careful consideration of the acoustic conditions of a site are required in order to ensure future development is acceptable.
In the case of the existing environment affecting future development, sources of noise and vibration are identified and measurements taken to objectively assess a site’s suitability for development.
From these assessments, recommendations can be made either in support of the development or in identifying potential mitigation measures that could be adopted in order to minimise impact. Mitigation will often be attempted at source or, where this is not possible, measures incorporated to reduce impact through careful engineering design
Future development can result in acoustic impact during both the construction phase and also through the operational use of the development. Construction and demolition by its very nature can result in high levels of noise through the use of heavy machinery and methods. Such impacts can be quantified, with alternative methods or limitations on working hours adopted as necessary
Operational impacts can vary from either being associated with new noise and vibration generating equipment or uses at a site, to causing impact ‘off –site’ through changes in the transport network or the intensification of use of other areas.
The involvement of an experienced acoustic consultant at an early stage can ensure that acoustic impacts are identified, with high level solutions adopted to mitigate impact and maintain good acoustic conditions both on and off site. This is key to achieving planning approval and providing good quality developments.