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'Noise Manifesto' launched as Government urged to make homes quieter

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'Noise Manifesto' launched as Government urged to make homes quieter

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Environment, Regulation

Insulation - all wrapped up Insulation - all wrapped up

A 'Noise Manifesto' has been launched to urge the Government to legislate for better sound proofing in new homes.

The Noise Abatement Society and insulation manufacturer, Rockwool, have come together to persuade the Government to create better planning laws - not just less.

The Coalition is preparing to axe up to 70 percent of the UK's planning laws in an effort cut red tape and boost building.

The Manifesto calls for minimum national standards of noise protection in buildings and lays the ground-work for a new Quiet Homes Standard to identify quieter homes, commercial and public buildings in the future.

The Manifesto's key recommendations include:

• Create a single, national standard for minimum acoustic protection in the design and construction of buildings as part of the National Planning Policy Framework review and The Code for Sustainable Homes
• Empower local authorities to refuse planning permission for developments that are deemed to create a noise issue in the finished buildings, as part of the Localism agenda
• Create tranquil spaces in new developments to allow residents to enjoy quiet areas
• Zone developments to separate commercial and residential buildings
• Strengthen planning guidelines around noise protection in schools
• Introduce a Quiet Homes Standard to identify buildings which meet minimum acoustic protection levels
• Use Green Deal and Eco funding to also improve acoustic insulation as well as boost thermal efficiency in buildings
• Improve training for architects to include modules on acoustic design

Lisa Lavia, managing director of the Noise Abatement Society, said: "Noisy homes are a major problem across the UK, with numerous studies linking noise pollution with health issues.

"As the Government is already reviewing planning guidelines, we urge ministers to give the UK adequate planning rules that protect people from noise and create a level playing field for the property industry. Cutting planning red-tape is fine but we have to ensure that the Planning Framework we are left with is fit for purpose - without better noise protection this simply isn't the case. It's time the Government started a quiet revolution.”

Thomas Heldgaard, managing director of Rockwool, added: "We urge the Government to consider these points during its review of the National Planning Policy Framework and as part of the Code for Sustainable Homes. Noise is a massive problem and for too long planning laws and guidelines have often ignored its impact and the destructive effect noise has on lives, health and education.

"While we appreciate the Taylor Report's desire to make the planning process simpler, we call on the Government to consider improving noise protection as part of this NPPF review process - to fail to do so is a massive wasted opportunity which will see millions of people continue to have their lives blighted by excessive noise. While we support axing unnecessary red tape the focus should be on making planning laws better, not just cutting them."

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