The NAS Blog

Nature Trumps Nurture


Owl wings are formed like no other bird. The noise dampening effect from the unique structure of the wings has informed a new development in the world of product design.

Will aircraft and wind turbine structures of the future mirror the stealthy barn owl and put a stop to invasive noise experienced by distraught residents near flight paths and wind farms?

Click here to read the full article.

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Future wind farm sites to be decided locally

wind turbine

Hooray for Government Minister Amber Rudd!

Future Wind Farm sites decided locally will enable an informed debate to take place specific to the local environment, leading to a consensus that can reached by those who will be affected.

Click here to read the full article in the Telegraph.

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I’m doing my own thing – what’s it got to do with you?


Last week, the media jumped on the news that a young women was sent to jail for having noisy sex. There were mixed reviews from readers, many commenting that this was a step too far. However, from those who are constantly under huge stress brought about by excessively noisy neighbours, there is a level of agreement about the sentence imposed.

We all make a certain amount of noise, we are, after all, only human.

But when does doing your own thing loudly become a totally unacceptable and selfish way to behave? When does your uncontrolled volume become somebody else’s business?

The detrimental effect of unwanted noise on quality of life is really underestimated – until it happens to you.

The noise goes on and on; you get irritated, angry, stressed and tolerance goes out of the window.

If you are suffering from noise, we are here to help. Download our helpsheet here.

Alternatively, contact our helpline on 01273 823 850 or email us at – calls may be recorded for training and monitoring purposes.

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Ivor Cutler

ivor cutler


Cult eccentric Ivor Cutler was a loyal and lifelong member of the Noise Abatement Society: “I’m a very sensitive man and I’m very sensitive to noise…” He hated loud applause, always carried earplugs with him and banned whistling in appreciation of his work. When performing, Ivor explained “I play as quiet as I can get away with because that’s how I want to communicate it.”


Ivor challenged the normal and invited his audience to enjoy his humorous perception of the world around us. The Scottish poet, songwriter and performer was recently celebrated in a musical about his creative and colourful life. The Beautiful Cosmos of Ivor Cutler received glowing reviews with his timeless works continuing their appeal to all generations.


His art is incredibly accessible and provokes a range of emotions. A cult following was built through regular radio exposure on the BBC. Through a career spanning over four decades he built a huge portfolio of audio and visual work, including over twenty John Peel sessions and a role in the Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour.


The Noise Abatement Society salutes you Ivor Cutler!

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DCLG Consultation on the Review of Government Planning Practice Guidance

While the NAS believes that there is a need for up to date guidance on noise we also advise that such guidance includes provision for and/or takes into account the following recommendations:

A. The strengthening of building regulations relating to noise pollution to create a single, national standard for the design and construction of homes and to improve acoustic protection in buildings, following a review of standards in comparable northern European countries.

B. Allowance for local authorities to refuse planning permission where noise in the completed development would be deemed to be excessive and cannot be cost effectively reduced.  New noise sensitive developments should not be created in places where occupants would be likely to resort to legal action against established economic activities which are otherwise acceptable.

C. The Code for Sustainable Homes should be updated, with noise protection included as one of the measures for sustainable building design, reflecting the importance of quiet buildings to the health and wellbeing of the occupiers.

D. Planning Policy should enable and encourage local communities to create and protect tranquil spaces and green squares and empower planners to consider the availability of conveniently located tranquil spaces when granting planning permission for homes in noisy environments.

E. The establishment of development zones, as part of the Code for Sustainable Homes, that create and maintain sufficient acoustic separation between residential and other noise sensitive uses, and noise generators (such as commercial and enterprise zones). This zoning should guide planning application considerations and allow residential and commercial (and other noise generating areas) to function successfully and cost effectively. Local authorities should be empowered to ensure that the economic, social and cultural benefits of land use mixing are secured without creating noise disturbance.

F.Government policy should encourage local authorities and third sector partners to test innovative approaches to tackling intractable local noise and soundscape problems, such as in the White Night West Street Story project designed and run jointly by the Noise Abatement Society and Brighton & Hove City Council; including through targeted funding for pilot projects covering noise prevention and other beneficial outcomes such as crime prevention and enhancing the urban environment.

G. The Government should establish a cross-sector, inter-disciplinary acoustic, academic, NGO and property industry task force to provide greater assistance to minimise the health effects of Low Frequency Noise, establish the impact this has on people and create a maximum exposure limit for householders. The task-force should be mandated to recommend updates to building regulations to protect residents in their homes from unnecessary noise disturbance.

H. The Government should strengthen building standards for schools to better address the impact of poor acoustics on educational attainment, building on the extensive research that has been conducted into this problem. These guidelines should set stricter minimum acoustic protection levels and lower maximum allowable noise levels for class rooms that should be followed by developers and architects when designing new schools, universities and colleges (and extensions to existing facilities) to create better learning environments.

I. The Government should introduce a new funding programme, to tackle poor noise insulation, which creates acute distress leading to neighbour conflicts in parts of the UK’s existing housing stock, in partnership with private sector funding and within the auspices of the ECO home improvement programme and the Code for Sustainable Homes. This would be complementary to the aims of the Green Deal and could be achieved at no additional cost using insulation that provides both acoustic and thermal properties.

Click here to read the full consultation response

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