Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

NSW Road Noise Policy - application notes

Relative increase criteria (see Section 2.4 of RNP)

The last paragraph in Section 2.4 (page 15) states: 'The relative increase criteria are primarily intended to protect existing quiet areas from excessive changes in amenity due to noise from a road project'.

'Quiet area' is intended to mean areas 'that are 12 dB or more below the relevant noise assessment criterion that applies day or night'. The relative increase criteria are intended to apply to 'noise from a road project' or 'noise from a land use development with the potential to generate additional traffic'.

The first sentence in the last paragraph should therefore be read to mean: 'The relative increase criteria are primarily intended to protect existing quiet areas, being areas that are 12 dB or more below the relevant noise assessment criterion that applies day or night, from excessive changes in amenity due to noise from additional traffic.'

Applying the assessment criteria to additional traffic on existing roads generated by land use developments (see Section 3.4.1 of RNP)

The second paragraph in Step 4 states: 'For existing residences and other sensitive land uses affected by additional traffic on existing roads generated by land use developments, any increase in the total traffic noise level should be limited to 2 dB above that of the corresponding "no build option".'

The policy provides for this 2 dB increase if the relevant assessment criteria identified in Step 2 is not achievable after the feasible and reasonable mitigation measures noted in Step 3 have been considered. The 2 dB increase applies to both the relevant day and night assessment criteria.

The second paragraph in Step 4 should therefore be read to mean: 'After taking Steps 1 to 3, for existing residences and other sensitive land uses affected by additional traffic on existing roads generated by land use developments, any increase in the total traffic noise level as a result of the development should be limited to 2 dB above that of the noise level without the development. This limit applies wherever the noise level without the development is within 2 dB of, or exceeds, the relevant day or night noise assessment criterion.'

Where cumulative impacts from road traffic-generating developments are likely, Section 3.5 notes that planning authorities should use strategic planning policies to minimise exposure to unacceptable noise levels.

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Page last updated: 12 June 2013