B6.3.1 Noise


If a developer is aware that a construction activity may create unwanted noise, they may apply for a Section 61 Consent before the works commence (this is under section 61 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974). This is issued by the Local Authority. The consent application will describe the nature of the works, the activities that will create noise and the mitigation measures that are to be used.

Sources of Noise include:

  • Road vehicles.
  • Machinery and equipment.
  • Radios and music.
  • People shouting.
  • Alarm systems.


The principles of noise mitigation mirror the contaminated land prevention model: Source, Pathway, Receptor.


If you do not create noise there will be no nuisance. Reducing the noise at source is the most effective control strategy.

This may be achieved through selection of reduced noise equipment or by fitting silencers.


If the sound generated cannot reach the receptor, there will be no nuisance.

Sound travels in all directions and reduces slightly as it gets further away from the source. Although it is slightly dependant upon variable factors, it is generally stated that each time the distance from the source is doubled, there is a reduction in noise of 3dB(A).

Barriers may reduce the way in which sound travels, such as acoustic screening and baffles.


When discussing noise, the receptor will be a person. The most common way of reducing the effect on the receptor is the installation of sound insulation – most commonly double (or triple) glazing.