Steps for builders

The steps that developers and builders should be taking to ensure resisdents are protected as much as possible from disturbance, noise and vibration.

Before submitting a planning application

  • View the Council's noise SPD to see what we require
  • If the development requires an EIA, then a construction noise assessment must be carried out
  • Projects not requiring an EIA may still be required to submit (by planning condition) a Demolitions and Construction method Statement
  • Follow best practice guidance set out in BS 5228-1:2009
  • You may be required to carry out surveys to establish the existing background noise level to set noise targets for construction in accordance with BS 7445-1:2003 (see page 5 of the noise SPD)
  • Agree noise criteria, vibration levels and construction working methods with Environmental Health
  • Refer to Annex E of BS 5228-1:2009 to see whether sound insulation or re-housing will be required
  • If it is a major site, consider obtaining prior consent under S61 of the COPA 1974.
  • Use BS5228-2:2009 to assess the impact of any piling operations

On site

  • If prior approval is not sought, the Council may serve a S60 notice setting site conditions
  • Noisy operations may only occur during normal working hours Monday-Friday 0800-1800. ┬áNoisy works are not permitted on Saturdays, Sundays or Bank Holidays
  • If you wish to work outside the normal hours you must seek approval from the Council 14 days in advance unless it is an emergency
  • Monitor sound levels following the method set out in BS 5228-1:2009 Annex G
  • If you wish to change the type of plant or programme of works, which could affect environmental conditions, you must obtain permissions from the Council first
  • Implement the appropriate noise control measures listed in the next column
  • Deliveries should be confined to permitted normal working hours
  • Arrangements for wide loads or other deliveries requiring police notification or an early/late delivery time must be brought to the attention of the Council immediately
  • Work must be carried out so that any vibrations arising will not cause damage to adjacent structures -see BS 7385-2:1993

Noise and Control Measures

  • Boundary screening
  • Electrically powered machinery rather than petrol or diesel
  • Exhaust silencers
  • Sound reduced compressors
  • Acoustic enclosures
  • No sheet piling with diesel or air driven impact or drop hammer
  • Noisy plant should be sited far away from noise sensitive buildings and temporary acoustic panels should be used where possible
  • For information about sound insulation see page 15 of the noise SPD.


  • You must protect residents and users of nearby buildings from nuisance, harm and physical damage
  • You will be obliged to comply with vibration limits agreed with the Council
  • These limits will consider human exposure (BS6472-1:2008) and the need to protect structures using BS7345-2:1993

Last updated: 28 April 2020