Hinkley Point C - Noise

Noise from the works and associated activities is controlled by a range of requirements. These include:

  1. With regard to vehicles, the limitation of the numbers of vehicles going to and from the site each hour, the setting of requirements for road vehicles by requiring them to meet current construction standards which will impact on both air quality and noise, and for on-site vehicles the prior approval of vehicles by manufacturer and model to ensure the use of specific modern plant.
  2. The uses of management systems to ensure all contractors are aware of all the restraints and proactively manage and monitor emissions.
  3. The installation of monitoring equipment near to residential properties to monitor sound levels.

The noise levels set for the two planning permissions are

Site preparation

Monday – Friday: 07:00 - 18:00 65 dB LAeq, 1hour
Saturday: 07:00 - 13:00 65 dB LAeq, 1hour


Monday to Saturday: 07.00 to 19.00 65 dB LAeq, 1hour
 19.00 to 23.00 60 dB LAeq, 1hour
 23.00 to 07:00 45 dB LAeq, 1hour, and 65 dB LAmax
Sundays and public holidays 07.00 to 19.00 60 dB LAeq, 1hour
 19.00 to 23.00 55 dB LAeq, 1hour
 23.00 to 07:00 45 dB LAeq, 1hour, and 65 dB LAmax

The levels have been set to limit the potential impact on neighbouring occupants and but also meet the need for contractors to carry out the construction of the structures on site. The levels set are shown as dB LAeq, 1hour  dB.  dB (decibels)  is the unit of measurement for noise. A is a frequency weighting which approximates to the way in which humans hear noise and Leq is an accepted way of expressing environmental noise and is called the equivalent continuous sound level. In effect this is time-averaged value, in this case averaged over 1 hour. This has been shown to be a good way to measure noise and the levels set, particularly the night time ones, are challenging.

One of the challenges of the monitoring program is that the monitors measure noise at the location of the equipment and the source of the noise measured may not be construction work carried out by or on behalf of EDF. Noise sources identified to date include wind and rain, mowing, land management and other gardening activities, agricultural activities, parties and bird song (dawn chorus).