Energy National Policy Statements – IOA consultation response
Energy National Policy Statements (NPS) – originally published in 2011 - are being reviewed by government to ensure the planning policy framework supports the infrastructure required for a transition to net zero, as set out in the Energy White Paper in December 2020. The five statements cover overarching policy, infrastructure for natural gas, renewables, electricity generation and oil and gas.
The IOA have responded to the consultation, overall welcoming comprehensive acknowledgement that acoustic issues must be considered throughout the draft policies. For example, we welcome the addition of guidance on potential noise and vibration impacts on the marine environment to EN1 -1, the overarching NPS for energy.
The Institute comments on a few areas where there is need for clarification of wording, and amendments to wording for consistency with existing policies. In particular, on the draft policy on generic impacts of energy infrastructure, it is suggested that it is extremely helpful in the implementation of noise management if the language used is precisely consistent across all planning policy and guidance. Therefore it is proposed that the language used in the NPS is amended to align with the policies with the Noise Policy Statement England and existing National Policy Statements for National Networks and Airports, to state:
“The Secretary of State should not grant development consent unless it is satisfied that the proposals will meet the following aims, through the effective management and control of noise in the context of Government policy on sustainable development:
• avoid significant adverse impacts on health and quality of life from noise
• mitigate and minimise other adverse impacts on health and quality of life from noise
• where possible, contribute to improvements to health and quality of life “
In addition, it is proposed wording on the role of green space in noise mitigation is changed. The current draft states green space can “absorb noise”. IOA have proposed this stating that green space “can contribute to a small extent to noise mitigation” – would be more accurate, and avoid raising expectation that planting greenery is a panacea for noise reduction.
The statements apply to England and Wales.
The IOA's response attached.