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Sunday, 12 March, 2000, 15:41 GMT
Campaigners sound out quiet zones
aircraft
Many homeowners do not have the luxury of silence
Anti-noise campaigners are compiling a list of tranquil retreats where people can escape the sounds and stresses of modern life.

The Noise Network is preparing the directory of quiet havens, including accommodation, around the UK.

The group says natural sound - such as birds or rivers - is fine, but locations being included must be away from heavy traffic, airports or noisy leisure activities.

roadworks
Noise is often inescapable
Background music is also frowned upon and the accommodation must not cater for functions which are likely to attract crowds and loud stereos.

Sound-insulated rooms are a bonus.

The network, a voluntary organisation based in Chatham, Kent, says modern life means people are finding it increasingly difficult to get away from noise.

Val Weedon, founder and national co-ordinator of the network, said: "Trying to find somewhere to visit, or stay, that offers a tranquil environment is getting more difficult on this small island of ours.

"But there must be some places people can escape to.

"British summertime starts at the end of March and we thought it would be a good idea to compile a directory especially for those people seeking an alternative lifestyle to a noisy vacational break, or just a chance to recuperate from a stressful period in their life."

The Noise Network wants the government to produce a comprehensive noise policy that will improve planning and bring the nuisance law up to date.

Lake District
Havens of peace will be listed in the guide
The group says good-quality sound insulation should be the right of every citizen and consumers should demand quieter products, while manufacturers should be encouraged to produce them.

It believes air traffic should be strictly controlled, while off-shore airports could be an alternative to expanding the current terminals.

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17 Feb 00 | UK
Birmingham maps out noise
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