A new World Health Organisation report has revealed that excessive noise from modern urban life is killing almost 6,500 Britons a year.

Unruly neighbours, the blare of traffic and booming music from pubs and clubs are blamed for a catalogue of health problems, including heart attacks and strokes. Furthermore, excessive noise can affect a child’s ability to learn, with studies showing that pupils in classrooms near railway lines are slower to learn and read than those taught in quieter rooms.

If noise control is a matter of life or death, it is imperative the issue remains high on the building agenda. Before the revision of Part E in 2008, thought must be given to how modern living conditions and noisier lifestyles can be better accommodated.

Today noise needs to be controlled from the outside in. While minimising sound transfer between dwellings is important, external noise should take equal priority, particularly in busy urban areas.

Developers must take heed. They are not just responsible for adhering to Building Regulations, but also have people’s lives in their hands.

Paul Absolon, technical director, CMS Acoustic Solutions