What is a Section 60 or 61?

What is a Section 60?

Section 60 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974 grants powers to a local authority to control noise from construction and demolition sites. They may do this by imposing restrictions on the works to ensure that noise levels are controlled with respect to any noise sensitive premises nearby.

A Section 60 notice may be served by the local authority on the person in charge of a construction or demolition site and it will normally be the result of complaints from users of nearby buildings, be they residents of houses or staff of commercial premises. Failure to comply with the Section 60 is a criminal offence and also applies to subcontractors.

One example of the potential restrictions which can be imposed by a Section 60 notice includes the permitted daily working hours. The potential knock on effect of this are programme delays and rising costs due to the increased programme time. A Section 60 Notice could also specify the plant which can be used, and the level of noise that can be emitted from the construction site.

To note, in addition to a Section 60 Notice, another enforcement option exists through the statutory nuisance regime under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

What is a Section 61?

This is where a building contractor applies for a prior consent for noisy works under Section 61 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974. The application details how noise and vibration is to be managed on-site. The underlying principle is that Best Practicable Means (BPM) is being adopted. This has a legal definition but in summary requires the person/s issued with the consent to minimise noise and vibration resulting from operations and to do so through the appropriate selection of plant, construction methods and programming.

A Section 61 prior consent is an agreement between the developer and the local authority, which sets out a detailed mitigation plan. With this agreement in place it is a defence against Section 60 enforcement action to prove that works were being carried out in accordance with the Section 61 consent.

If you have a Section 61 agreement in place it may be wise to monitor noise in the event of complaints to demonstrate whether any agreed noise levels are being kept to. If there are sensitive buildings like houses adjacent to the works then continuous noise monitoring might be easier and can alert site personnel with text messages and emails should noise limits be exceeded or being close to being exceeded.

AAC has extensive experience in undertaking Section 61 prior consent applications and continuous noise monitoring to show compliance with the terms of Section 61 applications. We can also install vibration, dust, and movement monitors.

Here is an example project – Marylebone High Street

If have any specific questions you would like to ask please get in touch at info@airandacoustics.co.uk