Anti-social Behaviour (ASB)
Anti-social behaviour (ASB) can be a general concern, especially around car parks and other open areas where people could potentially meet and create noise such as: raised voices, cars revving, playing loud music from car stereos, car door slams, etc.
This can affect local residents, which sometimes are at short distance or overlooking the affected area. At the same time, it can be a reason for refusing an application to extend opening hours in the night-time.
It is not possible to predict exactly when and where ASB is going to happen, so it can create a general concern in case it happens which affects both commercial and residential properties.
Sustainable Acoustics have been assisting clients through an assessment of the different noise sources and the impact these would have for the local area, especially for the closest residential properties. The noise assessment is based on a noise survey including night time hours to observe current climate, and to measure current noise sources in the area, as well as discussing the local area and policies with the local Environmental Health Officer (EHO) to understand better the current situation and potential issues.
Let's look at an example of a store open late - the projected customer counts for the potential extended opening hours of the store are used to calculate the impact this would create at the closest residential properties. Both subjective observations and objective measurements in the area are taken into account to rate the noise impact assessment in accordance with national planning and noise policy regarding the Noise Policy Statement for England 2010 (NPSE), and therefore the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF, Paragraph 123) as well as national and local policies regarding noise.
This assessment creates the basis for a Noise Management Protocol. The management protocol is specific for each establishment, and takes into account the current situation, potential extended opening hours and distance to the closest residential properties. This protocol includes best practice measures, helping the staff of the establishment know how to deal with noise issues, including ASB. Best practice measures also include the addition of signs to remind customers to respect the local residents by keeping noise to a minimum. All members of the establishment’s staff are made aware of the noise management protocol so they are prepared to dissipate groups before it is too late if possible, know how to deal with ASB if this is already happening and they are also instructed on the importance of keeping a record of incidents so this can be checked to help reduce the number of potential incidents.
The noise management protocols produced by Sustainable Acoustics have helped raise awareness of noise issues across the establishments we have assessed, as well as positively influence the ASB national policy for specific companies.