Air quality and planning
Air quality is likely to be a significant consideration in the planning process for development proposals where one or more of the following apply:
- the application would conflict with proposals in our Air Quality Action Plan or render some elements of it unworkable;
- the application could lead to a measurable deterioration in air quality as a direct result of the development proposal;
- the application would introduce new opportunities, or increase, human exposure in areas of existing areas of poor air quality.
We have a legal obligation to pursue the air quality objectives at all locations in the city. On this basis it may reject, or require amendments to, proposals which are considered likely to result in a significant deterioration in air quality and/or which are likely to introduce new opportunities for exposure in existing areas of poor air quality. In considering the impact on local air quality the following will be considered:
- Existing air quality in the vicinity of the proposed development
- Likely impact on local air quality as a result of the proposed development (including the impact of additional traffic movements and/or the introduction of other new emissions sources)
- Proposed measures for mitigating the air quality impact of traffic associated with the development and the compatibility of these measures with the Air Quality Action Plan.
- Proposed measures for mitigating the air quality impact from other emission sources (e.g. boiler plant).
- Level of increased exposure to air pollutants by members of the public as a result of the development taking into account all mitigation measures proposed.
- Design measures proposed to limit public exposure to air pollutants such as distance of facades from roads; orientation of habitable rooms and provision of ventilation.
When to provide an Air Quality Impact Assessment
Where the development is proposed inside, or adjacent to an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA), or where the development could in itself result in the designation of an AQMA or where the grant of planning permission would conflict with, or render unworkable, elements of the Local Authority's Air Quality Action Plan, applications should be supported by such information as is necessary to allow a full consideration of the impact of the proposal on the air quality of the area. Although a formal AQIA is not appropriate for all developments within the AQMA, developers are encouraged to make reference to the AQMA where appropriate and provide some justification for the reasons why they have not considered it further.
If you are unsure what information you need to submit with a planning application you should contact us before making your application. Please note that the submission of incorrect or incomplete information could lead to lengthy delays in assessing your planning application.
Further information and advice can be found in our Air Quality and Planning Guidance note - available to download here.