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Construction Noise and Vibration

Our noise and vibration policy

We have a policy to explain how we manage noise and vibration from our works. It explains how we always work to protect health and quality of life of those living or working near the railway construction.

Code of Construction Practice and local authority controls

The HS2 Code of Construction Practice (CoCP) outlines the measures we will implement to control and reduce noise and vibration during the construction of HS2. These include:

  • ensuring whenever possible, noisy works will take place during core working hours – Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm, and Saturdays from 8am to 1pm;
  • using construction methods designed to reduce noise and vibration;
  • installing hoarding or noise barriers where necessary to screen our works;
  • using equipment that is less likely to generate noise and vibration where possible; and
  • planning the layout of construction sites so that noisy equipment is away from homes where possible.

How we assess noise and vibration

We actively monitor and assess any activity that may cause noise and vibration, this includes carrying out full risk assessments before we start any work. This will include a noise modelling exercise that enables us to predict the level of construction noise that may occur. We always use this information when deciding what work we will do, what equipment we may use and how long we will undertake it for.

We always work with local authorities before any work takes place. We will then make an application under Section 61 of the Control of Pollution (COP) Act 1974.

The local authority can make sure that we’re doing enough to limit noise and vibration and meet the statutory requirements of the COP Act. They allow us to go ahead with our work or they can tell us to make changes to our plans.

Vibration from construction

We are aware that vibration from construction activity may be felt by those living or working nearby.

Vibration is usually more noticeable when you are indoors and it can be possible to feel even small amounts of vibration during works. Our Information Paper E23 and the CoCP sets out the thresholds that we need to work to.

It is extremely unlikely that any damage will be done to a building’s structure or decorative finishes from vibration associated with construction or demolition work. If anyone has any concerns, you can contact our HS2 Helpdesk at any time for more information.

How we monitor noise and vibration

We undertake monitoring of noise and vibration at locations around our construction sites to make sure that levels:

  • are within those predicted prior to the works starting;
  • do not breach any of the trigger levels in IP E23; and
  • comply with any requirements in the local authority consent.

We do not monitor noise and vibration at every property, instead we select locations that show our impact on our neighbours most effectively. We also take into account the need for access, maintenance and power supply when we choose a location and agree the locations with the local authority.

Where noise monitoring is carried out, we publish monthly noise and vibration monitoring reports.

Noise Insulation

Where noise from our construction work is above the noise insulation trigger level, you can have noise insulation installed so your property remains suitable to live in. Further information on what noise insulation is and the eligibility criteria can be found in ‘A Guide to the HS2 Noise Insulation Scheme’.

Temporary re-housing and the Prolonged Disruption Compensation scheme

Where noise from our construction work is above the temporary rehousing trigger level you will be eligible to be temporarily rehoused.

The prolonged disruption compensation scheme allows those eligible for temporarily rehousing to remain in their homes and receive cash compensation instead, as long as noise insulation is installed. For those residents who are an owner-occupier and the temporary re-housing trigger level is exceeded for a continuous period of 3 or more months in a 12-month period, they can ask the Secretary of State to purchase their property.

Further information can be found in the HS2 Guide to temporary rehousing and the Prolonged Disruption Compensation scheme.

Special cases

We are committed to being a good neighbour and treating communities with respect.

We recognise that in some instances buildings and/or their occupants may not be adequately protected by our established policies and that these ‘special cases’ need to be considered on a case by case basis. Examples of ‘special cases’ include, but are not limited to, homes where noise insulation isn’t an option, such as houseboats or mobile homes as well as night workers and people with a medical condition which will be seriously aggravated by construction noise.

We have set up a panel to oversee and manage the assessment of all special case applications. Individuals who believe they have been adversely affected by our activities should contact us through our Helpdesk. The panel will consider your individual circumstances, together with any supporting information it may request from you or our contractors in order to decide whether any alternative mitigation or other reasonable adjustment should be offered. In such circumstances, any measures will be provided at the absolute discretion of HS2 Ltd.