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Stanbrook Abbey

Our second installation for the Handpicked Hotel Group, Stanbrook Abbey Hotel is a former Grade II listed monastery, and retains many of the original features making it a charming setting for a wedding. And so it’s no wonder that the venue hosts over 100 events every year and were keen to install a permanent marquee in the grounds to cater for larger receptions.

Initial Scope

Stanbrook Abbey’s closest neighbours are just 91 meters away, and to obtain planning permission for the marquee, a noise impact and feasibility assessment had to be submitted.

The timeline consisted of Direct Acoustics obtaining underlying background levels without an event in operation (the lowest measured at Stanbrook was 25.19dB LA90). From there we ascertained the level of mitigation required by running a set of calculations with music at viable operational levels using a point source datum.

To give you an idea about the ambient range, the lowest ambient we have recorded is 17.2dB LA90 at Oakley Hall in Hampshire and the highest was 56.5dB LA90 at The Bloomsbury Big Top in Corums Fields, Central London. 25dB to 35dB is our average gathered L90 within the UK and Ireland based upon 250 sites Nationwide.


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Stanbrook Abbey hosts over 100 events a year all with finishing times post 11pm and neighbours just 91m away.


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To allow the Abbey to secure their planning permission for an event marquee, we utilised our bespoke acoustic linings and Zone Array directional speaker system.


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Planning permission was successfully granted with no appeals and the marquee has been operational for over two years with no complaints.

Acoustic Modeling, Zone Array and Marquee Acoustic Linings

Direct Acoustics were approached to work in conjunction with the acoustic consultants, production company and marquee supplier to create a bespoke solution for the event. Considering the proximity, low ambient level and required volume level on the dancefloor it became clear that we’d need to employ our full range of products to meet the brief. 

At this operational level through a standard point source speaker system and utilising the inverse square law to predict the correlating level at the NSD, we ended up with a level of 55dBA. Considerably higher than the 25dB LA90 background level!

Stanbrook Abbey interior

Using real world propagation over distance data gathered with our Zone Array directional speaker system (frequency specific data can be provided upon request), the music noise level was reduced to 41dB, a significant improvement but still 16dB above the required 25dB target level.

Fortunately our MAL16 acoustic lining provided suitable attenuation upon the overall level and across the frequency spectrum to ensure the 25dB background level was not exceeded when events were taking place.

Planning permission was successfully granted with no appeals and the marquee has been operational for over two years now, all without complaint.

Thinking of hosting events at your venue?

If you’re looking to obtain a licence or planning for a permanent development then there’s a few important things to consider.

  • Maximum number of events you wish to hold
  • Finishing time of the events
  • Distance to the nearest neighbour
  • Background noise levels? How quiet does it get when there isn’t an event on?

Answers to these questions will determine the acoustic criteria your local environmental health department will expect you to meet and how much mitigation, if any, would be required to comply.

Head over to our Noise Impact Assessment page for further information on how we work with acoustic consultants to get you planning or give us a call and we would be happy to discuss the process over the phone. 

Stanbrook Abbey Hotel - Event bride and groom first dance
Stanbrook Abbey exterior
Stanbrook Abbey Hotel Ceremony
How well does the Zone Array & MAL16 work?
Dancefloor Level
Boundary Level

Want to know more? Give us a call, we love having a chat