The news that new homes may not be subject to acoustic insulation testing (29 August, page 13) demonstrates that housebuilders are more worried about their financial returns than the plight of their end users.
Having worked in the housing sector for more than two decades, I can safely say that most of the complaints from occupiers are to do with noise not just from noisy neighbours but from the normal day-to-day activities of adjoining dwellings. It is therefore absolutely vital that homes are built correctly and not just designed correctly.

Most of the problems associated with sound are the result of poor workmanship on site, such as when good detailing is lost through inadequate workmanship. "Robust standard details", however robust they may be, are not a substitute for tests and do not guarantee satisfaction.

Sound tests can often help to identify such shortcomings before it becomes too late and too expensive to rectify them. Perhaps it is still not too late for the minister responsible for Building Regulations to reconsider his decision.