Industrial estate noise scuppers housing

An inspector supported a council's concerns over noise and refused permission for 18 flats adjacent an industrial estate in Cornwall.

The established industrial estate was home to a range of potentially noisy businesses including a brewery, vehicle repairs, tyre fitting, postal storage and distribution and car hire. The council confirmed that the various industrial uses were not regulated by planning conditions controlling noise emissions, operating hours or particular activities.

The inspector noted that while the council had not provided empirical technical evidence to support their noise objections, the appellant’s noise assessment was two years old. He saw evidence of changes in business on the estate since the submitted noise assessment which corroborated the council’s stance that businesses and activities on the estate could change over time and lead to an increase in noise disturbance, which reduced the weight he attached to the favourable findings of the technical noise assessment. He also opined that technical evidence can demonstrate a lack of harm from actual uses but not the effect of future changes. He was not satisfied that unacceptable noise and disturbance would not occur, in conflict with local policy aimed at protecting residential amenity, and lead to pressure on businesses to reduce noise with knock on consequences for the local economy.

Inspector: M Bale; Written representations

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