In December 2019 we were appointed to assess the existing acoustic environment at the site of a proposed barn conversion in North Norfolk. The design was by SMG Architects, well known for their work on multiple barn conversions and listed building projects across East Anglia. In this particular case, North Norfolk Council had raised concerns about the acoustic amenity of potential residents due to the proximity to a working arable farm.
We carried out a survey to measure noise from farming operations, which include frequent tractor and telehandler movements and occasional intensive grain handling activity. There is also a large grain store with large drying fans which were not operational so these were assessed on the basis of technical information provided by the fan manufacturer.
The farm is seasonal and for much of the year the site is very quiet. During more intensive periods the noise environment changes significantly and is mostly characterised by farm noise. However, our assessment concluded that while farming noise would be dominant, the absolute noise levels provided would be entirely suitable for residential amenity.
Dwellings on or close to farming operations are not unusual and people choosing to reside there will generally accept that some exposure to agricultural noise is inevitable. It is important to protect acoustic amenity and to that end we liaised closely with the Environmental Health Officer on this project. It was agreed with the Council that provided appropriate internal and external noise levels can be provided then this should be the deciding factor.
Client: Skylark Renovations
Architects: SMG Architects
Image credits: AJA / SMG