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Environmental Noise Management Plan

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Environmental Studies
Wordcount: 3091 words Published: 4th Sep 2017

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Environmental Noise Management Plan for a proposed Outdoor Music Event

University of Derby Online Learning, University of Derby, UK

Iwona Typek- Ryszka 100381110


This Noise Management Plan has been completed to regulate the potential noise issue during proposed three days outdoor music event.

The objective of this plan is to provide control measures to prevent noise impact on the local residents during the event and to ensure that balance is achieved between providing good entertainment and controlling potential adverse effect of noise pollution. (Legislation.gov.uk, 1996)

2.1. Site details

The outdoor music festival is intended to operate over a 3-day weekend period and it will be held at the Hainault Forest Country Park, Romford Rd, Chigwell, London IG7 4QL. Live music is proposed to be performed from the main stage and the secondary stage. There also will be two ‘Dub music’ marquees.

2.2. Operational hours

The following operational hours are understood to be representative for main and acoustic stages over the entire duration of the festival:

Main and secondary stages will play live music on:

  • Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 to 23:00.

The two marquee tents will play “dub” music on:

  • Friday and Saturday from 12.00hrs to 02.00hrs
  • Sunday from 12.00hrs to 24.00hrs.

2.3. Additional venues

Additional venues will be available for guests:

  • Adjacent camping area capable of holding up to 200 tents
  • Onsite bar and refreshments area
  • Car park area capable of holding up to 500 cars

3.1. The maximum Music Noise Level for main and secondary stages with live music

The usual noise level for outdoor festival has been described as energy averaging (LAeq,T) 98 decibels (dB) measured at the concert mixer position about 40m from the main loudspeaker and at a height of 10m to 15m in the audience area (Colthurst and Fisher, 2011). Organisers will set the maximum noise level to (LAeq,T) 95 decibels (dB) to allow margin for error. This must not be exceed over 15-minute period during the entire event (Sound Solution Consultants Ltd, 2010).

Maximum Noise Level set in The Code of Practice are shown in table 3.1.1. This guidance is set for events which finish before 23:00h. For events carry on beyond 23:00h, guidance recommendation is that ‘the music noise should not be audible within noise-sensitive premises with windows open in a typical manner for ventilation’ (Noise Council, 1995 p.7).

Reggae festival will more likely fit into category ‘other urban or rural venues’ so a 15 minute Leq of 65 dB(A) is the guideline limit.


Concert Days/Calendar Year/Venue

Venue Category


1 to 3

Urban Stadia or Arenas

The MNL should not exceed 75 dB(A) over a 15 minute period

1 to 3

Other Urban and Rural Venues

The MNL should not exceed 65 dB(A) over a 15 minute period

4 to 12

All Venues

The MNL should not exceed the background noise level by more than 15 dB(A) over a 15 minute period

*dB(A) – the A-weighted sound pressure level weighted to reflect the way the human ear responds to different frequencies (Noise Council, 1995).

Table 1. The maximum Music Noise Level (MNL) where the MNL is expressed as a Leq (Adapted from the Noise Council, 1995 p.6).

3.2. The maximum Music Noise Level for the noise sensitive areas

The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) ‘Guidelines for Community Noise’ document says that for outdoor living area noise levels of 55 dB LAeq cause serious annoyance during daytime and evening. The noise levels of 45dB LAeq (measured from outside) cause sleep disturbance to residence. The Guidelines recommends an internal LAeq of 30dB for optimal sleep conditions (and no more than 35dB for internal rooms during daytime). Organisers will set maximum noise level to 45dB LAeq (measured from outside) for operational hours of 12:00- 23:00 and 30dB LAeq (measured from outside) for event which carry on beyond 23:00.

4.1. Characteristic of reggae music

The drums and bass guitar play significant role in reggae music and attention is drawn to low frequencies (En.wikipedia.org, 2017). This type of noise will travel substantially further, and it can easily pass through the barriers and structures. (Colthurst and Fisher, 2011).

4.2. Local Geography and Topography

Hainault Forest Country Park is large park located in Greater London, which combines woodland and open space. This is a rural area and is relatively flat (Redbridge.gov.uk, 2017).The festival is planned on the open field which allows sound to travel without interference (Everest and Pohlmann, 2009).

4.3. Noise sensitive areas

The closest noise sensitive receptors to the proposed festival site are summarised below:

Receptor 1 – Properties located at Lambourne End, approximately 1.33 km to the north of the proposed festival venue.

Receptor 2 – Properties located at Chingwell Row, approximately 1.45km to the west of the proposed festival venue.

Receptor 3 – Newly built housing development located behind a golf club, approximately 1.3 km to the south of the proposed festival venue.

Receptor 4 – Houses located alongside Romford Rd. approximately 1.3km to the south-west of the proposed festival venue.


Picture 1. Location of noise sensitive areas

4.4. Noise Sources

Main noise sources for the reggae festival have been identified as follow:

  • Amplified music (recorded and live)
  • Sound systems
  • Sound checks
  • Car parking and camping and bar area
  • Departing patron noise
  • The build and break down

4.5. Noise controls put before the event

4.5.1. Background Noise Survey

The background noise, also known as ambient noise is defined as ‘unwanted or harmful outdoor sound created by human activities, including noise emitted by means of transport – road traffic, rail traffic, air traffic – and from sites of industrial activity’ (The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, 2002).

There is no doubt that large music events may cause disturbance to local neighbourhood due to high powered amplification involved. Therefore there is a need to complete a background noise survey before the event, to predict noise emission levels, and to ensure the health and welfare of those who live nearby is maintained (Noise Council, 1995).

Background noise survey will be undertaken end of April 2017 to determine background noise level at the mixer location and in the noise sensitive areas. Weather will be taken into account, as wind speed and direction or temperature may influence the transmission of sound. (Colthurst and Fisher, 2011).

4.5.2. Acoustic consultant

Fully qualified and registered acoustic consultant will be employed by festival organisers to help with event planning, to complete noise survey and monitor noise levels throughout the event. (Code of Practice and Guidance Notes on Noise Control for Concerts and Outdoor Events, 2012, p.16)

4.5.3. Communication arrangements

The communication network between the team members involved in noise monitoring will be established via handheld radios (Noise Council, 1995 p. 11).

There will be hot line step up where local residents could use to complain about noise level. The hotline will be open for whole duration of the event. All complaints will be logged, investigated and remedial action will be taken. Log will be kept to demonstrate compliance (Code of Practice and Guidance Notes on Noise Control for Concerts and Outdoor Events, 2012, p.17)

4.5.4. Public relations

3 months before the event, first briefing note will be delivered to the noise sensitive premises, informing neighbours that the concerts will take place and advising them about the precautions taken to minimise noise impact.

The second note will be delivered to the residents no later than 2 weeks before the event. This note will remind them about the festival, asking for their tolerance and providing a telephone number for the noise complaint hot-line where someone responsible can be contacted in case of any problems. (Noise From Open Air Events Guidance for Applicants, 2014, p. 10)

4.5.5. Sound preparation tests and set ups

Sound propagation tests will be carried out at the day of the event to ensure that sound levels are correct and meet the targets. (Noise From Open Air Events Guidance for Applicants, 2014, p. 10)

The weather condition on the days of the event also will be taken to consideration and level of noise will be correctly adjusted to meet specified criteria. To avoid unnecessary disturbances to the local residents, sound propagation tests will be carried out no earlier than at 10am. (Code of Practice and Guidance Notes on Noise Control for Concerts and Outdoor Events, 2012, p.12)

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4.5.6. Sound system

Circuit speakers system will be adopted for the main event stage. This system will help minimise noise level by positioning several low powered speakers around the audience. The system will be used instead of two large banks of speakers on either side of the stage. (Noise From Open Air Events Guidance for Applicants, 2014, p. 8)

Loudspeakers will be positioned away from the noise sensitive areas – properties in Chigwell Row and development near Romford Rd (Code of Practice and Guidance Notes on Noise Control for Concerts and Outdoor Events, 2012, p.13). Loudspeakers will be directed onto the area where audience will be, to avoid over-spill into the surrounding area (Soundadvice.info, 2017). The roof will be placed on the main and secondary stages to help to decrease the noise exposure outside the stage (Asselineaut et al., 2010).

There will be no speakers positioned outside of two Dub Shacks and speakers located inside the tents will be positioned downwards, away from any doors. Several small speakers will installed to ensure an even distribution of sound (Sound Licensing Limited, 2015).

Sound engineer will be strictly responsible for controlling the low frequency level of the music (bass) as its causes the most nuisance to local residents (Code of Practice and Guidance Notes on Noise Control for Concerts and Outdoor Events, 2012, p.12).

4.5.7. Rules for car park, comping area, bar and refreshment area

The car park and the camping areas will be strictly monitored during and after licensable hours to avoid any unnecessary noise e.g. recorded and live music. Use of Portable PA systems and car stereos will be strictly prohibited in the car park and camping site. Patrons will be informed about this rule before entry to the site and on entrance to the site. This will be communicated via clear signage and through Terms and Conditions of use of both car park and camp site. If there will be a breach of this condition, the equipment will be confiscated and if there will be repeatable offence, the offenders will be removed from the site. The active patrols will be taking place during and after licensable hours and logbook will be kept to demonstrate compliance (One Love Management, 2015, p16, p.28).

Bar and refreshment area will be monitored by Designated Premises supervisor. Bar will be closed at 22.30pm to ensure party will not carry on after licensable hours of event (One Love Management, 2015, p.12).

4.5.8. Traffic Management

Road traffic noise is one of the main sources affecting sleep and causing annoyance (Ohrstrom et al., 2006). There is only one road leading from the festival venue to the main road. This road will serve as an access to the venue. To keep traffic to minimum organiser will encourage guests to use alternative methods of transports e.g. trains, buses or car share. There will be dedicated traffic management team in place to ensure that parking is done efficiently and without unnecessary disturbance to local residents (One Love Management, 2015, p.16). The unnecessary use of horns and use of heavy vehicles at night time will be also forbidden (WHO, 1999).

5.1. Monitoring noise level

Monitoring of noise levels will be in place during licensable hours, and sound checks will be completed daily for the duration of the event. Those measurements will be completed at following locations: mixer position, stage, Dab Shacks and noise sensitive locations (Let’s Rock London, 2015).

Fixed sound level monitoring device will be used at the mixer position (Let’s Rock London, 2015) and sound limiter device will be installed inside Dub Shacks to ensure that agreed limits are not exceeded (Sound Licensing Limited, 2015).

The mobile sound level monitoring device will be used to measure sound level for each of new act performs on the stage. The remote sound level monitoring device will be set up at least one of the Noise Sensitive Locations and this device will be configured to record the sound levels for the duration of the event. There will be system put in place to alert the responsible person if any levels are exceeded. (Let’s Rock London, 2015)

5.2. After the event

All the results of the noise monitoring completed during the event will be kept and send to the Local Authority after the event, along with any complaints received, with documented corrective actions taken (Code of Practice and Guidance Notes on Noise Control for Concerts and Outdoor Events, 2012, p.17).

The aim of the noise management plan is to address all noise related challenges and ensure that there is balance maintained between the needs of the event organisers and the local residents.

The actions have been taken to reduce and manage the noise impact on the surrounding area and to ensure great entertainment for patrons.


Asselineau, M., and Serra, M (2010) Music and outdoors: are they meant to work together?. Proceedings of 20th International Congress on Acoustics, ICA. Sydney; pp.1-7.

Code of Practice and Guidance Notes on Noise Control for Concerts and Outdoor Events. (2012). Bath, p.12-17

Colthurst, A., and Fisher, S (2011) Noise and Vibration. Cited in: Battersby, S. Clay’s Handbook of Environmental Health. 20th Edition. Spon Press. London and New York. Ebook.

En.wikipedia.org. (2017). Reggae. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reggae [Accessed 12 Mar. 2017].

Everset, F. A., and Pohlmann, K. C (2009) Master Handbook of Acoustics. 5th Edition. Mc Grow Hill. London. Ebook.

Legislation.gov.uk. (1996). Noise Act 1996. [online] Available at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1996/37/crossheading/summary-procedure-for-dealing-with-noise-at-night [Accessed 12 Mar. 2017].

Let’s Rock London. (2015). Let’s Rock London 2016 – Noise Management Plan.

Noise from Open Air Events Guidance for Applicants. (2014). Portsmouth: Portsmouth City Council, p.8-10

Ohrstrom, E., Skanberd, A., Sevensson, H., and Gidlof-Gunnarsson, A (2006) Effect of road traffic noise and the benefit of access to quietness. Journal of Sound and Vibration 295(1/2); pp. 40-59.

One Love Management, (2015). One Love Festival Appendix 2. EVENT SAFETY MANAGEMENT PLAN. Basingstoke: Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, pp.12- 28.

Redbridge.gov.uk. (2017). Redbridge – Hainault Forest Country Park. [online] Available at: https://www.redbridge.gov.uk/leisure-sport-and-the-arts/parks/hainault-forest-country-park/ [Accessed 12 Mar. 2017].

Sound Solution Consultants Ltd, (2010). The Black Horse Festival Noise Impact Assessment TECHNICAL REPORT. Rother: Rother District Council.

The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union (2002) Directive 2002/49/EC relating to the assessment and management of environmental noise. Official Journal of the European Communities. L 189; pp. 12-25.

The Noise Council (1995) Code of Practice on Environmental Noise Control at Concerts, London, The Noise Council.

World Health Organisation (1999) Guidelines for Community, Geneva.



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