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A new martial arts gymnasium was proposed in Woking. The gymnasium would occupy a converted warehouse.
Planning application has been granted for the proposals with conditions which relate to the noise impact at nearby residential premises.
A noise impact assessment was already submitted but was rejected by the council (by the environmental health officer) as inadequate. NSL were therefore appointed to provide expert advice to resolve the issues.
NSL reviewed the planning conditions for the development and found that they failed to meet the six tests as per the requirement in the National Planning Policy Framework. For instance the conditions referred to the containtment of noise, non-audibility of internal events and significant harm to residents without being precise. Therefore, in order for the planning officer to make an informed decision in full accordance with current planning practice, we developed an assessment methodology in full compliance with the NPPF (a material consideration for planning applications).
Using innovate techniques utilizing omnidirectional noise sources, we established in detail the sound reduction properties of the external building fabric and using our extensive database of various activities predicted the likely noise impact at the nearby residential premises. The results of the assessment showed that the only mitigation measure required to satisfy the aims of Paragraph 123 of the NPPF was for the entrance doors and windows to not be used for ventilation. This measure was agreeable by the owners.
Following submission of our report, the planning issue was resolved and the gymnasium allowed to operate.