Consultation on Draft Noise Action Plans, October 2018

Closed 15 Nov 2018

Opened 4 Oct 2018


The Environmental Noise Directive (END) requires, on a five yearly cycle, the production of strategic noise maps, the preparation of Action Plans based on the results of the noise mapping, and consultation with the public on the contents of these Action Plans. The Action Plans are designed to manage environmental noise and its effects, including noise reduction if necessary, and preservation of quiet areas. A suite of Action Plans was previously adopted following earlier rounds of strategic noise mapping. These Action Plans included details of the process for identifying Important Areas (noise ‘hotspots’) and an outline approach for identifying and managing quiet areas in agglomerations. The third round of noise mapping occurred during 2017 and this consultation seeks views on the Action Plans that have subsequently been prepared. The approach proposed is broadly a continuation of the policies set out in the previous Action Plans, with no substantial changes proposed to the way Important Areas are identified and managed, and no changes proposed to the process for identifying Quiet Areas. For this reason, we have decided on a 6 week consultation exercise. The Government recognises the importance of ensuring that noise is managed effectively, and following publication of the 25 Year Environment Plan earlier this year , plans to engage separately with stakeholders on long-term priorities for noise management in England and options for addressing them. The opportunities presented by EU exit will be a key part of these considerations going forward. The Government will work closely with stakeholders to ensure that our future approach to managing environmental noise in England best addresses the country’s needs.

Noise is also a devolved matter with responsibility also resting with the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Executive who will be consulting separately.

Why your views matter

The Regulations identify Defra as the competent authority for preparing and adopting Noise Action Plans for agglomerations, major roads and major railways. This consultation relates to those draft Action Plans. It does not cover Noise Action Plans for airports. The draft Noise Action Plans set out the process for identifying Important Areas and describes the process that will be followed to determine what further measures, if any, might be taken to assist the management of road and rail noise in those areas, in order to assist with the implementation of the Government’s policy on noise . The draft Noise Action Plan for agglomerations also provides details about the process to be followed to enable the formal identification of END quiet areas with the aim of preserving environmental noise quality where it is considered good. A more detailed summary of the contents of the action plans are provided in Part II of the main consultation document. We would like your views on the actions being proposed to manage environmental noise and its effects, and to hear whether you have any further suggestions. Click on the link below to start. or by post to Noise Action Plans consultation, Noise & Nuisance Team, Defra, Ground Floor, Seacole Building, 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF.

If you choose to provide a response separate to the online survey, please outline whether you are an individual or responding on behalf of an organisation (and provide relevant details). Please also let us know whether you would like your response to be treated as confidential, and if so why (please see related information in the section)

The responses we receive now are important and will inform the final Noise Action Plans for England to be published by January 2019. We want to hear from all interested parties to help us shape our final strategy.

If you have any questions on this consultation, please email:

What happens next

The consultation responses will be evaluated and, where appropriate, the draft Action Plans will be amended. Defra intends formally to adopt the Noise Actions Plans in early 2019, following which summaries of the Action Plans will be submitted to the European Commission in line with the reporting timetable set out in the END. The Action Plans will then be published on the website and implemented following the process described.


  • Environmental campaigners
  • Government Departments
  • Government Agencies
  • Devolved Administrations
  • Environmental professional services
  • House Building Industry
  • Property Management
  • Local Authorities
  • Consumer Groups
  • Business/Private Sector
  • Transport Organisations
  • Local Authorities
  • Environmental Health Officers
  • Professional and Membership Organisations/Agencies
  • Public Bodies
  • Consultants


  • Natural environment
  • Green infrastructure
  • Green economy
  • Sustainable development
  • Air quality
  • Noise
  • Local environments
  • House Building and Planning
  • Construction
  • National Parks
  • Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty