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Insulation News: Rockwool calling for a Quiet Revolution


As the Government prepares to slash planning red tape and axe up to 70 per cent of the UK’s planning laws, in response to the Taylor Review, a new Noise Manifesto has been launched calling for the Government to boost noise protection in homes and other buildings as part of the new National Planning Policy Framework.
Launched by The Noise Abatement Society and ROCKWOOL, the world’s largest stonewool insulation manufacturer, and based on views expressed at The Noise Summit by more than 100 property, construction and acoustic industry leaders, the Noise Manifesto urges the Government to create better planning laws, not ‘just’ less planning laws.

Divided into actions for the Government and the property industry, the Noise Manifesto calls for minimum national standards of noise protection in buildings and lays the ground-work for a new Quiet Homes Standard to identify quieter homes, commercial and public buildings in the future. 
In the face of numerous academic studies and a World Health Organisation report showing the serious effects on health,impact on children’s educational achievement and damage to quality of life caused by excessive noise in the built environment, the Noise Manifesto sets out a 14 point plan to address the issue.
 Key recommendations in the Noise Manifesto include:

  • Create a single, national standard for minimum acoustic protection in the design and construction of buildings as part of the National Planning Policy Framework review and The Code for Sustainable Homes
  • Empower local authorities to refuse planning permission for developments that are deemed to create a noise issue in the finished buildings, as part of the Localism agenda
  • Create tranquil spaces in new developments to allow residents to enjoy quiet areas
  • Zone developments to separate commercial and residential buildings
  • Strengthen planning guidelines around noise protection in schools
  • Introduce a Quiet Homes Standard to identify buildings which meet minimum acoustic protection levels
  • Use Green Deal and ECO funding to also improve acoustic insulation as well as boost thermal efficiency in buildings
  • Improve training for architects to include modules on acoustic design
The Noise Manifesto is based on the views expressed by those attending the Noise Abatement Society and ROCKWOOL Noise Summit on 20th November 2012. Hosted by TV presenter and architect George Clarke, The Noise Summit provided a forum for leading figures in the architecture, construction, acoustic and property professions to discuss new ways to combat noise pollution in the UK’s built environment.
Thomas Heldgaard, managing director of ROCKWOOL stated: "We urge the Government to consider these points during its review of the National Planning Policy Framework and as part of the Code for Sustainable Homes. Noise is a massive problem and for too long planning laws and guidelines have often ignored its impact and the destructive effect noise has on lives, health and education.
"While we appreciate the Taylor Report's desire to make the planning process simpler, we call on the Government to consider improving noise protection as part of this NPPF review process - to fail to do so is a massive wasted opportunity which will see millions of people continue to have their lives blighted by excessive noise. While we support axing unnecessary red tape the focus should be on making planning laws better, not just cutting them."

Lisa Lavia, managing director of the Noise Abatement Society stated: "Noisy homes are a major problem across the UK, with numerous studies linking noise pollution with health issues.
"As the Government is already reviewing planning guidelines, we urge ministers to give the UK adequate planning rules that protect people from noise and create a level playing field for the property industry. Cutting planning red-tape is fine but we have to ensure that the Planning Framework we are left with is fit for purpose - without better noise protection this simply isn't the case. It's time the Government started a quiet revolution.”

A series of leading industry figures have backed the aims of the Noise Manifesto and added their support to the call for the Government to boost noise protection standards in buildings as part of the National Planning Policy Framework Review.

Noise Manifesto:

Rockwool HVAC Range:


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