New guidance has been published by the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) for local authorities to improve on the standard currently set for acoustics in new homes.  As an update to their housing standards policy playbook, they are attempting to enable cities and local authorities drive up the sustainability of new homes, away from the current national policy which is not delivering requirements for all new homes from either a social or environmental perspective.  The acoustics section of the playbook (from slide 37) discusses the impact of noise pollution and its detrimental effect on residents and informs of the existing acoustics policy set by the UK government which states that they aim to  “Promote good health and a good quality of life through the effective management of noise within the context of Government policy on sustainable development”.  The revised NPPF includes advice for planning policies to include provisions for noise and that they should “Mitigate and reduce to a minimum.  Potential adverse impacts resulting from noise from new development – and avoid noise giving rise to significant adverse impacts on health and the quality of life.  Planners are also referred to the Explanatory Note to the Noise Policy Statement for England (DEFRA 2010).  The Building Regulations Approved Document E supports this with specific requirements for sound insulation between new build dwellings as well as conversions which have been designed to achieve a minimum standard for the protection of health and safety.  Adhering to these requirements alone will not design out all unwanted internal noise, especially in settings such as cities, where high densityliving often results in higher than average experiences of noise.  There are also no requirements in the Building Regulations to limit the noise entering buildings from the outside environment.  Again, this is particularly significant in urban environments where  residential buildings are often subject to significant noise from the surrounding area.  There is therefore a gap between what dwellings meeting the Building Regulations will achieve in terms of noise management, and the ability of those dwellings to meet the requirements of  the NPPF and the Noise Policy Statement for England (NPSE) to avoid ‘adverse impacts on health and quality of life’.   As such, LPAs need to consider how to use their local plans to ensure effective noise mitigation is achieved in residential developments.