The increase in noise experienced by residents due to a sound barrier erected between the A1(M) and a new housing development in Stevenage is "inconsequential", an independent assessment has concluded.

Stevenage Borough Council granted planning permission in September 2020 for Taylor Wimpey to build 133 homes on land west of the A1(M) and south of Stevenage Road in Todds Green.

Last year, a nine-metre high sound barrier was erected between the new development - Franklin Park - and the A1(M), to reduce traffic noise.

However, residents living on the opposite side of the A1(M) complained of reflective noise, and Stevenage Borough Council admitted it had granted planning permission without taking into account their appointed noise consultant's concerns regarding the barrier and "reflective factors".


After residents lodged formal complaints with the council and ward councillors, the local authority appointed independent noise consultant MAS Environmental Ltd to carry out a noise impact assessment.

A spokesperson for Stevenage Borough Council said: "In summary, the assessment by MAS indicates that the sound barrier results in a 1.1 decibel increase. However, this increase is deemed small, inconsequential and below the threshold of any perceived change in sound level.

"The slight change in pitch of the sound should mean that screened gardens are unaffected and, equally, inside houses the noise should be no more noticeable.

"The consultant applied alternative modelling software, which also indicated some changes in noise pitch. These changes are judged to be minimal and within acceptable limits, but are likely to be noticeable to those who have lived with the particular pitch spectrum of the traffic noise prior to the erection of the new noise barrier.


"Human perception in a case such as this is likely to be of an increase in noise, partly as the sound level has increased slightly in a few locations, but largely because of a change in the nature and character of the sound, which will be perceived as noisier until receptors have sub-consciously adjusted and become de-sensitised to it."