Fringe Box



Letter: GBC Should Explain the Reasons for The Star’s Noise Abatement Notice

Published on: 20 Oct, 2018
Updated on: 20 Oct, 2018

The Star Inn, Quarry Street

From Tim Ellis

In response to: Council Leader ‘Under Investigation’ for Backing Star Inn Over Live Music Noise

Looking at the original planning application (13/P/01096), the issue of existing noise was raised in an objection by the owners of The Star Inn. This prompted a planning consultation with the council’s Environmental Health Officer. The result of this was that: “Environmental” Health consider it would not be reasonable to refuse the application on the basis of noise from live music at the public-house and that a certain level of noise disturbance would be expected at the properties due to there location.”

The recommendation was made that: “The main bedroom area for the flats are located to the front of the site and towards the east side of the building away from the live music playing area of the pub. It is considered that having regard to the position of the bedrooms and windows and a condition for insulation no objection is raised on this ground.”

Such a condition was made in the Planning Decision Notice and a noise specification defined: “The insulation on noise sensitive facades should provide insulation to a minimum standard of 34dB(A) and windows not situated on noise sensitive facades should be insulated to a minimum of 27dB(A).”

Since the potential problem was identified and dealt with in the planning decision, what has changed to require the action of a Noise Abatement Notice? Was the work by the developer carried out correctly to achieve the required noise levels?

Has the noise from The Star Inn increased since the work was undertaken by the developer? I would agree that Guildford Borough Council should explain more clearly the reasons for their action and that they have acted properly in their decision process and determination of responsibilities.

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Responses to Letter: GBC Should Explain the Reasons for The Star’s Noise Abatement Notice

  1. Ben Paton Reply

    October 22, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    Either the specification underestimated the noise, or it overestimated the effectiveness of the noise insulation or it was not properly implemented, or the pub got noisier or, most likely, permission should never have been granted in the first place.

    This whole problem arises because the planning authority is intellectually dishonest when it comes to “mitigations”. It covers itself by making mitigation a condition. But in practice, it does nothing to check that the mitigation has been put in place afterwards.

    This issue runs through the entire planning process from the local plan downwards. The public is invited to believe a whole lot of impossible things, such as that sound insulation will make much difference if you live directly opposite a live music venue.

    What’s needed is realism before the event, not ineffective fig-leaf type mitigations after the event.
    Environmental Health was apparently correct in advising against planning permission. The council lived down to its reputation by granting permission when refusal would have been more appropriate.

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