Sound transmission is the main concern for people living in homes built to the density levels of PPG3, according to a report by architectural lobby group Design for Homes.
The research was conducted into what gives occupants of high density housing a sense of privacy. It found that people were more concerned about hearing or being heard by neighbours than they were about being overlooked by them.

"The research shows that we should worry less about the distances between buildings and windows and more about the generosity of the accommodation," said David Birkbeck, director of Design for Homes. The research was carried out by the group's Popular Housing Research division, and was sponsored by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, the RIBA, the Royal Town Planning Institute, the RICS and CABE. It was based on surveys of occupants of 10 housing estates of varying ages built to PPG3-compliant densities of 30-50 units per ha, including Poundbury in Dorset.

Preliminary findings suggest that Poundbury does not emerge well from the research, as its houses have almost no front gardens.

Three-storey homes are popular with occupants, as they allow internal space to be easily subdivided into territories for individual occupants. The three-storey townhouse at Greenwich Millennium Village in London emerges as the best home for sound insulation, with all its surveyed occupants giving the house a good rating.