Planning Permission: Noise

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities written question – answered at on 25 October 2023.

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Photo of Alexander Stafford Alexander Stafford Conservative, Rother Valley

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what advice his Department provides to local councils on planning applications for potentially noisy sites.

Photo of Alexander Stafford Alexander Stafford Conservative, Rother Valley

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will make an assessment of the potential impact of locating high-capacity batteries near residential communities on the adequacy of levels of (a) noise pollution and (b) community safety.

Photo of Alexander Stafford Alexander Stafford Conservative, Rother Valley

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what advice his Department provides to local councils on balancing community concerns with developer proposals.

Photo of Alexander Stafford Alexander Stafford Conservative, Rother Valley

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether he has had recent discussions with Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council on planning applications for high-capacity battery storage.

Photo of Rachel Maclean Rachel Maclean The Minister of State, Home Department, Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

The National Planning Policy Framework is clear that the planning system should contribute to and enhance the natural and local environment by preventing both new and existing development from contributing to unacceptable levels of noise pollution. Local authorities should consider the use of planning conditions to mitigate and reduce to a minimum adverse impact on health and quality of life arising from noise from new development.

Government officials have been working to address potential safety and environmental impacts of battery energy storage system (BESS) sites. This includes recent updates to planning practice guidance, which encourages battery storage developers to engage with local fire and rescue services and local planning authorities to refer to the guidance published by the National Chiefs Fire Council. This ensures that matters relating to the siting and location of battery energy storage systems can be considered before an application is made.

With regard to any meetings between the Secretary of State and Rotheram Metropolitan Borough Council, I hope that you will appreciate that the Secretary of State's role in the planning system means that he cannot comment on any development proposal and neither can I comment on his behalf.

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