Leave it out!

Environmental aspects of the 51m consultation response, part 9

In the previous blog (It used to be really quiet ‘round here, posted 12 Oct) I considered some of the comments that Southdowns Environmental Consultants Ltd has raised in Appendix 18 to the 51m alliance response to the public consultation (available here) that concern the extent of the impact on dwellings of noise from HS2.

The Southdowns report mentions two further matters associated with the calculation of impacts on properties and which have not been mentioned previously in my blogs. I will deal with the first of these in this present blog, and the second in the next that I will post.

Firstly, the report comments on the restriction of the assessment to the impacts on residential properties, termed “dwellings” in the AoS. In the words in the report “Notable omissions in the HS2 train noise study and hence in the identification of noise mitigation requirements include … train airborne noise impacts at non-residential receptors and resources such as community, education, healthcare and outdoor recreational facilities”.

The AoS agrees with this assessment and promises, in paragraph 3.1.7 on page 43 of Appendix 5 of the AoS (available here), that:

“… operational noise at non-residential receivers … would be fully assessed at EIA stage should the scheme be progressed.”

Although no work on assessing the non-residential properties that will suffer noise nuisance appears to have been done, paragraph 7.1.5 on page 51 of Appendix 5 of the AoS does try to be helpful:

“The number of potentially impacted non-residential noise sensitive receivers has been identified by counting the number of educational, health, community and recreational properties located within 300 metres of the route centreline, which are considered to be those potentially at risk of airborne operational noise impacts, i.e. a total of 250 properties in this case.”

Nice try, but that is, I think, fairly meaningless information. Not all properties within 300 metres may be affected by noise and some at a greater distance may be affected; it depends on route geometry, terrain, mitigation, etc.

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