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This section relates solely to UK planning matters and Minerals Planning Guidance Note 11 (MPG11).  MPG11 has now been replaced by Minerals Policy statement 2 Annex 2:Noise which is available from the ODPM website.  This section will shortly be revised.

The title of MPG11 is "The Control of Noise at Surface Minerals Workings" and as it suggests, this document is used in planning assessments for surface minerals workings such as quarries and open cast coal operations; the standard itself and PPG24 also indicates that it should be used to assess the noise from landfill sites.

At paragraph 34 of MPG11, the noise limits are set out in the terms that "The Government takes the view that during the working week... daytime nominal limit at noise sensitive properties used as dwellings should normally be 55 dB LAeq, 1 hour...The night-time nominal limit should be 42 dB LAeq, 1 hour". The assessment location for the measurements or predictions using BS.5228, is at least 3.5m away from a facade, and the BS4142 character correction is not normally applied.  The normal working week is Monday to Friday working hours and Saturday morning.

There is an exception to the above, where 55 dB LAeq, 1 hour, would be more than 10 dBA above the background level (measured in LA90 terms), it may be appropriate to set the limit at 10 dBA above the background except in "exceptionally quiet rural areas where the background daytime noise level is below 35 dBA.... it would not normally be appropriate to require a daytime limit below 45 dBA LAeq, 1 hour".

The MPG also recommends that for open spaces which the public uses for relaxation (not normally including footpaths etc.) the noise limits should be:-

  1. Monday to Friday [normal working hours] 65 LAeq, 1 hour

  2. Saturday morning 65 LAeq, 1 hour

  3. All other times 55 LAeq, 1 hour

In many instances the quarry or landfill will not yet exist, so that MPG11 requires that BS.5228 "Noise and vibration control on construction and open sites" is used to predict likely future noise levels.  The methodology is complex especially where considerations of Soft Ground Attenuation and Barrier Corrections come into play.  It is also necessary to know the sound power level of the machinery to be used (external database).  BS.5228 is also used (as its name suggests) to predict the likely noise level from construction and demolition sites, and it gives guidance on suitable noise control measures.  BS.5228 has been adopted under Section 71 of The Control of Pollution Act 1974 and as such its use is mandatory under certain circumstances.

One of the most common sources of complaint is noise from reversing bleepers; perhaps its not surprising that they can disturb residents given that there are designed to be loud, attract attention and convey a sense of urgency and even danger; however, contrary to popular belief, we understand that  these devices do not have to sound every time the HGV or fork lift truck reverses.  We are aware of cases where using the vehicles side lights (i.e. at night) mutes the reversing alarm, e.g. see elsewhere.  In addition during the daytime volume sensing alarms can be used so safely minimising alarm levels, e.g. see elsewhere.

It can be seen that the measurement and assessment procedures are very similar to those of BS.4142 combined with calculations as per BS.5228. The Foreword of BS.4142 states "It should be noted that noise assessment is a skilled operation and should be undertaken only by persons who are competent in the procedures". If, having read the above and the standards, you don't feel competent you can consult the Directory for a list of consultants.

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