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Letter: How Was Noise Insulation Specified for Mill Lane Flats?

Published on: 25 Oct, 2018
Updated on: 25 Oct, 2018

Converted flats in Mill Lane said to affected by noise from The Star Inn.

From Martin Elliott

In response to: Star Inn Noise – Others Might Feel Differently If It Happened to Them

The issue for the GBC Planning Department to comment upon is how they arrived at a specification for noise insulation as a condition which has failed to reduce the performance noise to residential levels?

Did they actually carry out a noise survey during a live band performance at The Star Inn as the Environmental Health Officer (EHO) did in retrospect and then use that to come up with the minimum attenuation required?

Or, did they just pick an inappropriate specification from a Building Regulations Manual?

Either way, the specification, being prescriptive, was not fit for purpose.

The metric they should have used was pressure levels allowed in residential property, as measured by EHOs. Is should be left to the developer to meet that condition.

Council Leader Paul Spooner has recently questioned the competency of his planning department. Given his expressed interest in this case, perhaps he’d like to get answers to these question?

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Responses to Letter: How Was Noise Insulation Specified for Mill Lane Flats?

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    October 25, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    Minimum of four inches between the sheets of glass (secondary glazing not double glazing) no ventilators within the windows and no air vents facing the venue. Quite simple really.

  2. S Callanan Reply

    October 25, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    On 8 November 2013 GBC Planning discharged the condition requiring details of insulation to be supplied prior to commencement of development.

    The discharge letter notes that “the details shown in documents 1.01, 1.02, 1.03, 1.04, 1.05, 1.06 and 1.07 are acceptable”.

    I can’t find those documents on the planning website (13/P/01096) but don’t see why they shouldn’t be there.

  3. Martin Elliott Reply

    October 25, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    I saw that as well, but from my experience, and the timing, all it would be is the material specifications and installation plans.

    Even there, as we know from other far more important building material specifications (Grenfell) sometimes there is a great variation between specification and actual performance.

    There is no indication that the efficacy and installation itself was ever actually checked by the GBC until the complaint and EHO survey.

  4. John Perkins Reply

    October 26, 2018 at 11:04 am

    GBC Health and Community Care Services raised an objection to a planning application (18/P/001192): “accommodation in such close proximity and within the same structure to a venue that has the potential and intention to be used for noisy activities, such as parties, functions etc.”.

    It was clearly recognised that there may be an issue. Correspondence between Environmental Health and Planning on the earlier, and identical, application (17/P/02215) also shows concern about noise being a nuisance to existing and new residents. Yet the planning officer qualified her comments with, “I have no objections to this application in principle”. The architect then gives his reasons why noise won’t be a problem, without offering details of sound levels.

    At no point was there any discussion of what effect the steady boom of the bass from modern amplifiers will have on people nearby at any time, let alone close to midnight. As suggested in the letter referenced by this one, perhaps planners would feel differently had they experienced it.

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