HC Deb 23 May 1980 vol 985 c432W
Mr. Peter Bottomley

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the recent Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development conference on noise abatement policies; what is regarded as an acceptable level of noise; and if he will estimate what proportion of the population is exposed to greater noise levels.

Mr. Fox

The OECD conference which took place on 7, 8 and 9 May, concluded among other things that as an overall objective for noise abatement policy, maximum outside noise levels in the proximity of housing of 60–65 decibels during the day and 50–55 decibels during the night (average noise levels expressed in decibels (A) oh the Leq Index), should be aimed at . The conference recognised that in existing built-up areas, this objectve would have to be pursued over the longer term.

Acording to the best available estimaes about 10 per cent. of the population of England live in houses exposed to levels greater than 65dB(A)(Leq) by day and 55dB(A)(Leq) by night. About 25 per cent of the population live in houses exposed to levels greater than 69dB(A)(Leq) by day and 50dB(A)(Leq) by night.