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Environmental Noise

Environmental Noise is a Pollutant

Noise is now universally recognised as a major environmental pollutant and there are a myriad of codes of practice and standards available to assess environmental noise, many of which can lead to confusion.

However in simple terms environmental noise can be considered to be a comparison between the noise level measured with the offending source operating, compared to the noise level measured with the source switched off.

This can be applied to existing sites where complaints have been made, or to proposed developments to reduce the likelihood of complaints, safeguarding against the loss of amenity due to noise.

Northburn Acoustics Provide:

  • Initial environmental noise survey in accordance with BS4142 to establish ambient and/or background noise levels depending upon whether it is an existing or new site.
  • A detailed assessment of existing and/or new noise sources to establish whether complaints are, or would be justified.
  • The proposal of noise mitigation measures.
  • Technical support for negotiating purposes.  

Noise Nuisance

In legal terms, nuisance is defined as:

"The unlawful interference with a person's use or enjoyment of land."

This can take a variety of forms, but more usually it is sleep disturbance, or interference with telephony and speech, or the reduction of property value due to extreme environmental conditions.

Unlike workplace noise, where employees are protected by specific exposure levels, there are no fixed levels by which noise nuisance can be measured. Therefore, consideration of each individual case is required in accordance with BS 4142, which can be applied to existing sites and to new developments.



  • advice on whether a nuisance is likely to exist to prevent you being involved in future litigation.
Northburn Acoustics
P.O. Box 122
NE23 3WX

tel/fax 01670 739294