Noise Monitoring of Events in Finsbury Park

We want to provide residents with as much information as possible on how noise from major events held in Finsbury Park is monitored.

During each event the Event Organiser is required to provide not only a phone line and email address for those wishing to make a complaint regarding noise, but to provide officers to investigate and respond to each complaint received. Once a major event is confirmed and closer to the event time, this information will be publicised on the Finsbury Park Events page. See the noise control page for more general noise information.

What impact will noise have on the local community?

Amplified music noise levels at major music events are set by the council and are encapsulated as conditions in the Premises Licence. Event promoters are required to engage an independent noise consultant to provide advice during the planning of an event and to actively manage noise levels throughout the event days.

The council also has a noise team working during events to ensure compliance with the licence conditions. The event will be audible to some living nearby, however the regulated noise levels will be monitored.

Most residents who could be affected by noise are able to contact the community helpline that is in operation on event days to submit their concerns with the event team.

We are very conscious that we are working near to homes and workplaces therefore we will respect and care for the environment.

How is noise from concerts at Finsbury Park managed?

Noise conditions for the Finsbury Park Premises Licences are currently based upon guidance in the Code of Practice on Environmental Noise Control at Concerts (the Code of Practice), which recognises that music from such events can cause disturbance to those living in the vicinity, but gives guidance on how such disturbance or annoyance can be minimised.

It states that even full compliance with the code may not eliminate all complaints and that local factors may affect the likelihood of complaints. The Code of Practice recommends various levels dependant on the frequency of use of the venue in question.

The Code suggests that additional limits are imposed for events which continue past 23:00, but currently all amplified music at Finsbury Park events finishes at 10.30pm (10pm on a Sunday).

For 1-3 concert days per calendar year the code recommends that the Music Noise Level (MNL) should not exceed 75dB(A) (LAeq 15min) over a 15 minute period.

For 4-12 concert days per calendar year the code recommends that the Music Noise Level (MNL) should not exceed the background by more than 15dB(A) over a 15 minute period. (LAeq 15min).

The council’s Outdoor Events Policy, dated 7 January 2014 states that Major scale events will be ordinarily limited to 5 per year (save where there is demonstrable community support for additional events and that the duration of such events would be 1-3 days.

The Code recognises that assessment of noise in dB(A) is convenient but can underestimate the intrusiveness of low frequency noise and this is often less of a problem near to an open air event than further away.

Complaints may occur some distance from an event simply because people can hear it and consequently there is a perception that the guidelines are not being met. Topographical and climatic conditions can be such that the MNL is lower at locations nearer to the venue.

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What does the Premises Licence require the promoter to do about noise?

Conditions on all Premises licences for Finsbury Park stipulate that noise levels are monitored from agreed monitoring locations (see the monitoring site table below) that have been deemed to be representative of residential properties surrounding Finsbury Park.

As the noise limits are based on the existing background noise levels it is not possible to apply a noise limit to every property around Finsbury Park, but the areas selected have been based on providing a representative background noise level for those properties in the vicinity.

It would be reasonable to assume that if the noise limits are being achieved close to the venue, they would most likely be lower at distances further from the venue. This does not mean that those living further away will not be disturbed. Therefore noise levels have been monitored from the specified noise monitoring locations.

If a noise complaint is received, the appointed acoustic consultant and the council licensing/noise enforcement officer is able to assess from the nearest specified noise monitoring location to the complaint address whether the Premises licence conditions are being met.

What are the noise limits at other outdoor spaces in London?

The noise limits currently set in the Finsbury Park licenses are significantly lower than other London venues.

  • Victoria Park has a noise limit of 75dB LAeq,15mins
  • Hyde Park has a limit of 75dB LAeq, 15min for a similar number of events annually and would be classified as a similar type of venue to Finsbury Park
  • Clapham Common has a noise limit of 75dB LAeq 15mins

The guidance recognises that the MNL at the mixer desk is typically 100dB(A) and that less than 95dB(A) is unlikely to provide satisfactory entertainment for the audience. Sound levels are taken at the height of a hand held sound level meter (or the height of a typical tripod eg 1.5m high).

Review of monitoring points and background levels

During the summer of 2015 independent acoustic consultants were appointed by the council to review the process by which noise from concert events is controlled at Finsbury Park during events. This review is currently ongoing.

Current monitoring points and background levels

Approved locations representative of the noise sensitive premises likely to experience the greatest increase in noise levels as a result of events held in Finsbury Park.

Table: noise monitoring sites

Location

Background Noise Level
[Hourly LA90]
7pm-11pm

Notes

Noise Limit
(dB(A) LAeq,15min)

Seven Sisters Road, N4
[LB Hackney]

63 dB(A)

Taken approximately mid-way along park length.

Very busy main road-traffic predominates.

78 dB(A)

Adolphus Road, N4
[LB Hackney]

51 dB(A)

Taken mid-way between Gloucester Drive and Alexandra Grove.

Runs parallel to Seven Sisters Road- minimal traffic- shielded by medium rise flats.

66 dB(A)

Woodstock Road, N4

47 dB(A)

Taken at North bend.

Separated from park by busy railway line- rear bedrooms face Park.

62 dB(A)

Stapleton Hall Road, N4

41 dB(A)

Taken 30m East of junction with Quernmore Road.

Residential- minimal traffic-located on a hill overlooking North side of Park.

56 dB(A)

Lothair Road South, N4

46 dB(A)

Taken 30m East of junction with Alroy Road. Parallel to Endymion Road.

61 dB(A)

Rowley Gardens, N4
[LB Hackney]

49 dB(A)

Taken centre of “quadrangle”.

On East side of Park & in middle of high rise flats.

64 dB(A)

Sound levels at the monitoring points should not exceed the above background by more than 15dB when measured as a 15 minute LAeq.

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Glossary of terms

Noise is defined as unwanted sound. The range of audible sound is from 0dB to 140dB, which is taken to be the threshold of pain. The sound pressure detected by the human ear covers an extremely wide range.

The decibel (dB) is used to condense this range into a manageable scale by taking the logarithm of the ratio of the sound pressure and a reference sound pressure.

The unit of frequency is Hz. 1 Hz is one pressure fluctuation in one second. The frequency response of the ear is usually taken to be about 16Hz (number of oscillations per second) to 18,000Hz. The ear does not respond equally to different frequencies at the same level. It is more sensitive in the mid-frequency range than at the lower and higher frequencies, and because of this, the low and high frequency component of a sound are reduced in importance by applying a weighting (filtering) circuit to the noise measuring instrument. The weighting which is most used and which correlates best with the subjective response to noise is the dB(A) weighting. This electronic filter matches the variation in the frequency sensitivity of the meter to that of the human ear. This is an internationally accepted standard for noise measurements.

The ear can just distinguish a difference in loudness between two noise sources when there is a 3dB(A) difference between them. Also when two sound sources of the same noise level are combined the resultant level is 3dB(A) higher than the single source. When two sounds differ by 10dB(A) one is said to be twice as loud as the other.

Examples of various noise levels

Sound Level dB(A):

  • 0-10 Threshold of hearing
  • 10-20 Radio Studio
  • 20-30 Bedroom at night
  • 30-40 Municipal Library
  • 40-50 Living room in an urban area
  • 50-60 Typical Commercial Office
  • 60-70 Loud conversation
  • 70-80 Average traffic on a busy street corner
  • 80-90 Inside a city bus / underground train
  • 100-110 Typical alarm clock (1 yard away)
  • 110-120 car horn (1 yard away)
  • 120-130 Pneumatic drill (1 yard away)
  • 130-140 Threshold of pain

The subjective response to a noise is dependent not only upon the sound pressure level and its frequency, but also its intermittency.

LAeq: Equivalent Continuous Sound Pressure (ambient) Level. The A-weighted sound pressure level of a steady sound that has, over a given period, the same energy as the fluctuating sound under investigation. It can be considered to be the average energy level over the specified measurement period (t) and is a widely used indicator for environmental noise.

LAN: the A-weighted sound level exceeded for percentage (%) of the measurement period. LA90 is used to define the background noise level, ie the noise that would remain once all local noise sources were removed.

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Page Last Updated:

16 February 2017

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