Noise policy is developed in the context of protecting the environment and enhancing the quality of life and public health. Research is necessary to underpin this aim. Defra therefore sponsors research to inform Ministerial decisions, to guide the development of policy, to develop action programmes, to monitor the achievement of policy goals, to stimulate and promote innovation and to encourage the spread of good practice and technology.
- 17 December 2008 - Defra Commissions Research on Noise and Environmental Impact Assessment.
- Research funding (Environmental Protection NOISE and NUISANCE Research Newsletter)
Our current research programme includes projects to:
- assess current levels and attitudes to environmental noise;
- assess the effects of noise on health (through a series of joint projects with the Department of Health and the European Union 5th Framework Programmes)
- develop work which will be required under the proposed EU Directive on environmental noise such as noise mapping and action planning
- help develop a National Ambient Noise Strategy
- help respond to noise and other nuisance issues.
- NANR 200 - Research into the practical and policy applications of soundscape concepts and techniques in urban areas
This report contains the findings of an investigation into existing research into soundscape concepts, which included a review of academic literature on the subject, case studies of soundscape assessment and design, and interviews with a number of experts in the field. The report also includes recommendations for future research into the practical identification, management and enhancement of soundscapes in urban areas.
- NANR 275 - Good Practice and Regulatory Guidance on Composting and Odour Control for Local Authorities (PDF 2.6 MB)
This guidance document is prepared on behalf of Defra and the Devolved Administration of the Welsh Assembly Government, primarily for Local Authorities. Its purpose is to provide clear guidance on the regulation process. Although this guide is not statutory, it provides information on best practice techniques for the control of composting odours and the proactive and reactive assessment of nuisance odour from composting.
- NANR 235 - Research into the Improvement of the Management of Helicopter Noise (PDF 800 KB)
This report describes research undertaken to investigate the improvement of the management of helicopter noise in the UK. This work was carried out on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) by the University of Salford and QinetiQ (Farnborough) Ltd. The aims of this study were to determine the issues and the extent of the reported problem of noise from helicopter operations in the UK, and to develop practical guidance on the management of helicopter noise, including improvements in the handling of complaints.
- NANR 116 – Open and Closed Window Research
The overall aim of the study was to provide rigorous guidance on the acoustical properties of residential facades allowing for the requirements of natural ventilation, through either open windows or background ventilators. The guidance is intended to be of particular use at the planning stage for residential developments; where it can be used in combination with acoustic criteria to assess the scope of noise mitigation works.
- NANR 190 - A Review of Performance Indicators
Defra, and through it the Devolved Administrations of the Scottish Executive, the National Assembly for Wales, and the Department of the Environment in Northern Ireland, commissioned a project to see how Performance Indicators are used by Local Authorities and other parties (nation-wide and within other parts of Europe) to monitor the management of environmental and neighbourhood noise. The project was also expected to lead to recommendations regarding suitable local or national performance indicators for the management of environmental and neighbourhood noise.
The research aimed to establish the existence or otherwise of performance indicators relating to noise, determine the extent of their use in the UK, identify any variation in application based upon locality and provide details of any common themes, threads or key issues that may help or hinder the implementation of performance indicators – nationally at strategic level, or locally – in relation to the management of noise.
- Research into aerodynamic modulation of wind turbine noise report, August 2007
This report was commissioned from Salford University by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (previously DTI, now BERR) and Defra, to ascertain the prevalence of aerodynamic modulation of wind turbine noise on UK wind farm sites, to gain a better understanding of the likely causes, and to establish whether further research is required. The final report is published on the BERR website.
- NANR 208 – Noise Modelling
In 2004 Defra let a research contract to Hepworth Acoustics, DGMR and Acustinet to investigate how the quality of input data used for road traffic noise modelling could affect the reliability of the noise levels calculated. The final report is available here.
This new research project has taken the same approach and techniques, and has applied them to the assessment of noise from railways, in order to understand how the quality of input data could affect the quality of the calculated noise levels.
Review of use of mediation services by local authorities and housing associations (PDF 900 KB)
The study reviewed the types of services available, who provides them, and their effectiveness in terms of results and costs compared to other methods available to landlords for controlling noise from tenants.
Information was gathered using a combination of methods: questionnaires, telephone discussions, and meetings with housing professionals and mediators.
- Update of noise database for prediction of noise on construction
and open sites (PDF 200
This report forms Phase 3 of the study. The objective of the Phase 3 study is to obtain measurements of noise from typical construction-type plant that is currently used on quarries in the UK and to prepare a database of the information. The database includes octave band noise levels.
- Human response to vibration in residential environments (PDF 2 MB large file)
- NANR 174 - Construction Noise Database (Phase 3), Evaluation of Established Measurement Protocol (PDF 1 MB)
The key aim of this project was to ensure that reliable noise emissions data are included in a construction noise database, designed in the same manner as BS 5228. Salford's role was to investigate the normalisation of noise data to 10 metres with regards to plant having large dimensions. The report presents the findings.
railway noise source terms for "Calculation of Railway Noise
1995"(PDF 200 KB)
Defra is currently in the process of producing rail maps for the Environmental Noise Directive using the national methodology "Calculation of Railway Noise" (CRN). With the influx of new trains and rolling stock onto the network in recent years, there was a need to update the source database in CRN, the results of which are presented in this report by AEA Technology. It should be noted that these figures have been developed using the CRN methodology and are intended for use with Strategic Mapping only.
- Review of Use of Noise Abatement Notices Served Under Section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990
- Noise from Pubs and Clubs: Phase II
Final report on possible methodologies for assessing night-time noise from licensed premises for the purposes of the Noise Act 1996.
- WG-AEN's Good Practice Guide and the implications for acoustic accuracy
As part of its ongoing support to the EU Working Group on the Assessment of Environmental Noise (WG-AEN), Defra let a contract that investigated various issues that would affect the accuracy of noise maps.
- Noise from Pubs and Clubs: Phase I
This is the final report for a contract let to review existing knowledge of noise from entertainment sources such as pubs and clubs.
- ENCAMS Segmentation of Noise Sufferers and Noise Makers
ENCAMS research, on behalf of Defra, to understand the attitudes and behaviours of noise makers and noise sufferers and to segment the different attitudinal groupings.
- Review of Existing Codes
of Practice on Minimising Noise
Defra commissioned Rupert Taylor to review the three Codes of Practice on noise that were given statutory approval in 1982 under section 71 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974.
- Contant Barking Can Be Avoided:
Offering guidance to dog owners
This report complements the leaflet 'Is your dog barking too much?', providing local authority Environmental Health Officers with guidance on advising owners of noisy dogs.
- Update of noise database for prediction of noise on construction and open sites
- Review and analysis of published research into the adverse effects of industrial noise, in support of the revision of policy planning guidance PPG24
- Development and Production of a
Guide for Noise Control from Laminated and Wooden Flooring
This document, produced by the Building Performance Centre at Napier University, was commissioned by Defra and the Devolved Administrations of the Scottish Executive, the National Assembly for Wales, and the Department of the Environment in Northern Ireland to examine the noise implications of installing or revealing hard timber floor surfaces within flatted residential dwellings.
- Guidance on the Control of
Odour and Noise from Commercial Kitchen Exhaust Systems
Guidance to local authorities on 'best practicable means' when assessing odour and noise nuisance from kitchen exhaust systems.
Road Traffic and Aircraft Noise Exposure and Children's Cognition and Health: a European Commission 5th Framework Project for which Defra are providing British match funding.
- Noise Mapping England:
noise mapping industrial sources
A methodology for representing industrial sources in a noise model which is simple, reproducible and robust has been developed. This study was undertaken by Bureau Veritas Acoustic Technology (BVAT)
- Noise Mapping England:
aircraft traffic noise
This study was carried out to inform mapping processes with regard to the implementation of the National Ambient Noise Strategy and EU Directive 2002/49/EC (25 June 2002), through the production of aircraft noise maps for London Heathrow Airport. EU Directive 2002/49/EC relates to the assessment and management of environmental noise. The study also investigated various technical issues that arise as a result of moving from producing summer average LAeq contours to producing annual average Lden contours. This study was undertaken Environmental Research and consultancy department - Civil Aviation Authority.
- Noise Mapping England: rail
and wheel roughness - implications for noise mapping based on the
Calculation of Railway Noise procedure
This study investigates technical issues associated with using Calculation of Railway Noise, a method for calculating noise from railways. This study was undertaken by AEA Technology (AEAT).
- CSL - Review of international
research literature regarding the effectiveness of auditory bird scaring
techniques and potential alternatives
There is limited information available on the efficacy of bird deterrent devices and guidance on best use. The use of gas cannons in particular has resulted in complaints of noise nuisance. Therefore, Defra commissioned Central Science Laboratory to review and evaluate the current state of knowledge in order to provide a sound scientific basis for policy decisions and guidance material.
- MORI - Neighbour Noise: Public Opinion
Research to assess Nature, Extent and Significance
Neighbour noise is a key quality of life issue. This report assess its nature, extent and significance based on public opinion research, and makes recommendations for future actions.
- Low frequency noise research papers
This page includes three reports developing a proposed criteria and methodology for the assessment of low frequency noise complaints, and a review of the available literature concerning the effects, assessment and management of low frequency noise.
Neighbour and Neighbourhood Noise - A Review of European Legislation and Practices
This study presents a review of European legislation and practices relating to neighbour and neighbourhood noise.
Identifying the Options Available for Determining Population Data and Identifying Agglomerations in Connection with EU Proposals Regarding Environmental Noise
A report on research undertaken by AEA Technology with the aim of identifying the options available for determining population exposure to noise and identifying agglomerations in connection with EU proposals regarding environmental noise.
Provision of a Project Management Service for Noise Mapping England
Please note that this notice has expired but provides some useful information with regard to the provision of a project management service for noise mapping England.
Converting the UK Traffic Noise index LA10, 18h to EU noise indices for noise mapping
This study presents the methodology for converting the UK traffic noise index to EU noise indices for noise mapping. It was undertaken by TRL Limited on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
The views expressed in the above reports are those of the authors and do not necessary reflect those of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Scottish Executive, the Department of Environment for Northern Ireland or the National Assembly for Wales.
- Department of Health - Reports published to date from the Joint DH and Defra Noise and Health Research Programme on the non-auditory health effects of noise. Includes the West London Schools Study and the Development of a Standardised Interview to Assess Domestic Noise Complaints.
Page last modified: 08 February 2010