Operations that occur during normal use of agricultural buildings and structures can give rise to significant noise impacts on the local community. This is particularly the case for processes such as grain drying, which occurs seasonally (beginning of July to the end of September) and may require plant and activity to be operational 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.
Solar PV is an important part of the UK’s energy mix, with installations deployed on over half a million buildings, providing a total capacity in excess of 4 GWp. The Government’s Solar PV Strategy sets out guiding principles which seek to ensure that proposals are appropriately sited and give proper weight to environmental considerations and local amenity. At face value, there is not an obvious association between solar farms and noise impacts; however installations require inverters, electrical switch gear and often mechanical ventilation equipment, which, if incorrectly specified or sited can adversely affect amenity.
The practice has extensive experience of assessing both existing and proposed new agricultural processes/installations (BS 5502-32:1990, BS 4142:2014) and new solar farms. A comprehensive consultancy service can be provided which includes:
• Initial scheme evaluation; • Preparation of noise assessments in support of planning applications; • Detailed design including noise mitigation measures for existing sites and proposed facilities; • Final commissioning.