EV Charging – Balloch, Scotland

Omnia were commissioned by our client to undertake a Noise Impact Assessment to support a planning application for an Electric Vehicle Charging Development in Balloch, Scotland.

With energy becoming paramount, more and more developments of varying sizes, are looking for planning permissions which not only require Acoustics, but Ecology, Air Quality and Geo-Environmental assessments (amongst many others) to determine their suitability and impact upon the existing and future environment.

Summary

The development is situated amongst existing noise sensitive residential dwellings resulting in the requirement of a Noise Impact Assessment. The proposal included for the installation of a number of vehicle charging points with associated works which have the potential to cause significant adverse noise impacts due to the construction and operational phases.

Chapter 9 of The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that transport issued should be considered early on in order to:

  • Address potential impacts
  • Realise opportunities from existing or proposed transport infrastructure;
  • Identify environmental impacts of traffic; and
  • Review patterns of movements, streets and other transport considerations.

NPPF goes on to say that developments should ensure the provision of spaces for charging plug-in and other ultra-low emission vehicles.

The electric charging points themselves emit little noise, with the potential of a low frequency hum during usage. The main element of noise would result from the associated substations used to power the charging units.

Scope of Works:

The Acoustics team undertook attended and unattended measurements on site to determine the existing levels of background and ambient noise to allow us to better understand and assess the potential impact from the operations associated with the proposal.

An assessment was undertaken in accordance with the relevant British Standard to rate and assess the sound associated with the development. The procedure detailed within the relevant standard compares the ‘specific noise level’ of the sound associated with the proposals with the background sound level at the existing residential dwellings. In order to ensure a continued suitable living environment for the existing residential dwellings, the resultant sound level should not exceed the measured background level.

Outcome:

A review of the data specification for the units and the associated substation and comparative assessment determined that the installation and operation of the vehicle charging points would not result in a significant adverse impact upon the existing residents, with the associated noise falling below the existing background noise level.

The Noise Impact Assessment formed a key element of the full planning application and assisting with Permission Granted for the development.

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