Car renovation and scaffold store inappropriate at dwelling

The use of a dwelling in Bristol for car renovation and the storage of scaffolding were held to be unacceptably harmful to local residents despite the results of a noise assessment.

The appellant stated that activity at the site was likely to increase noise levels at nearby dwellings by between 15dB and 21dB and, based on world health organisation guidelines and a British standard on measuring industrial noise, he asserted that they were acceptable. He also claimed that a condition could be imposed which limited the times when scaffolding could be loaded and unloaded thereby minimising the noise impact.

The inspector decided that the increase in noise levels were not marginal and in any event assessing the increase also required a subjective judgment to be made because it also depended on the human reaction to it. Local residents had objected to the use and the clanging of metal scaffold poles together with their sliding on and off the back of a lorry could give rise to a piercing noise. Restricting the times at which this activity could occur would be difficult to enforce.

Moreover, the car storage was likely to require the movement of vehicles around the site in order to access the stored scaffold. The proximity of neighbouring gardens meant that this would increase the noise and disturbance and there was no means of adequately mitigating this impact.

Inspector Gareth Symons; Written representations

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