36. Local authorities are legally obliged to investigate complaints of noise from premises, vehicles, machinery or equipment in the road, and have powers to take action against nuisance. This will be the most common route for formally addressing nuisance from noise. In relation to new development, it is preferable for anticipated noise impacts to be addressed at the outset through design and the use of mitigation measures. Planning authorities are encouraged to use planning conditions to ensure appropriate mitigation measures are put in place and maintained. Conditions attached to a consent should meet the six tests set out in Circular 4/1998 Use of Conditions in Planning Permissions, particularly in terms of being enforceable. Planning authorities have powers to take enforcement action against any breach of planning control under the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997, including a breach of the limitations or conditions specified in the General Permitted Development (Scotland) Order 1992. More information on planning enforcement is provided in Circular 10/2009 Planning Enforcement.
37. Planning authorities may, where appropriate, specify in a condition that monitoring will be undertaken according to a scheme to be agreed between the planning authority and the developer. Monitoring methods which can be used include agreeing a number of noise control points where noise will be measured for monitoring purposes and the intervals at which the monitoring should be carried out. Electronic automatic monitoring devices can be accurate and cost effective for monitoring large scale developments that pose particularly acute noise issues. Problems may exist, however, in urban locations where other noise makes measurement difficult or where measured levels are only marginally above background noise.
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