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It is common practice that Local Authorities set planning conditions to ensure internal noise levels meet appropriate acoustic targets.

We have advised on projects where Local Authorities have set very low target noise levels on the basis that they expect this to provide higher quality dwellings and better living conditions.

Where we have encountered such situations we liaised with the council to explain setting the rating too low can be counterproductive, and create a dwelling that can be considered ‘too quiet’ and in which noise from the ventilation system or sound travelling from neighbouring dwellings can be a nuisance.

Based on our recommendations target noise levels have been revised to meet the BS8233:2014 requirements which create a better living environment and reduced capital costs.

BS8233 sets not only the maximum noise level but in some cases it provides a lower noise level to provide masking for acoustic privacy. The requirements of BS8233 are shown below, including the stipulated design range.