The village of Rackheath lies to the north of Norwich and is part of Broadland District Council’s “growth triangle”. In 2009 it was identified as one of a dozen proposed sites to create new carbon-neutral eco-communities. The government subsequently withdrew this particular programme, but in 2016 a new masterplan was published.
The three interested parties consisted of Manor Farm, Barratt Homes and Broadland District Council. Core features of the development included up to 4000 new homes, a secondary school and two new primary schools, an employment area, waste recycling, recreation grounds and a health and social care facility. Provision for new road infrastructure was also required.
The site lies close to the Norwich-Cromer railway line and the Broadland Northway (NDR) dual carriageway. Part of the area also includes a disused airfield.
As part of the masterplanning process, we were approached as acoustic consultants. Our office is located only five miles from Rackheath and we had previously carried out surveys of traffic, rail and industrial noise in the region. Noise assessments in different locations were required and to support our analysis we built a 3D computer model of the site using CadnaA software.
Through regular meetings with the clients and our own internal discussions, we are able to offer innovative suggestions to ensure that masterplans such as this are developed with acoustics in mind. Not only does this assist in protecting future noise-sensitive uses, but it also provides many opportunities for cost savings by reducing the requirements for building envelope sound insulation later in the project.