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Air Quality Assessment

An air quality assessment is usually expected if the impact from a new development, increase in use of an existing property, or change of use is likely to be significant. 

This may include increases in traffic movements, or the introduction of a new emission that may impact on the local air quality, such as a biomass boiler that may be within an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA). Without accurate assessment and awareness of air quality sources and their related impact to identified receptors it would be impossible to propose effective mitigation solutions. Therefore, the demand by local planning authorities for air quality assessments has increased significantly, particularly in support of planning applications for new developments or change of use proposals, where there are already sensitive receptors nearby or the site is within an AQMA.

This is further defined in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which states that ‘Planning policies should sustain compliance with and contribute towards EU limit values or national objectives for pollutants, taking into account the presence of Air Quality Management Areas and the cumulative impacts on air quality from individual sites in local areas. Planning decisions should ensure that any new development in Air Quality Management Areas is consistent with the local air quality action plan’.

Therefore, an Air Quality Assessment should be considered where:

  • A development proposal will generate a significant change in traffic volumes (such as a change in annual average daily traffic (AADT) and peak flows), vehicle speeds, congestion, parking and/or traffic composition (such as increases in HGV due to commercial use).

  • A proposal for a new development or source of exposure within close proximity to existing sources (such as a busy road) and or increase in nitrogen deposition.

  • A new emission source will be introduced such as a biomass boiler or CHP burning plant within or in close proximity to an AQMA.

  • A sizable construction site is proposed as part of a new development that will generate significant HGV movements per day (such as >200) over a given period of time, often 1 year.

  • Proposals could have a potential impact on nearby sensitive receptors such as emissions impacting on residential housing, creation of dust from construction works etc.

The need for the aforementioned points will depend on the location and sensitivity of the proposed source, local planning authority requirements, policies and action plans.

How can Lustre Consulting help?

To meet your requirements and ensure you remain compliant, Lustre Consulting works with experienced air quality assessors and scientist to offer a comprehensive air quality assessment service to our clients, complementing our core Contaminated Land Assessment service. We can provide an accurate assessment of your proposals in accordance with all relevant guidance and standards recommended by Environmental Protection UK and published by DEFRA and Environment Agency.

Our air quality assessment services include: 

  • Dispersion modelling (DMRB, ADMS-Roads, ADMS 4, AERMOD). • Monitoring traffic emissions.

  • Monitoring industrial emissions.

  • Measuring and monitoring dust levels.

  • Monitoring vapour (VOCs) and particulate levels (such as lead in air).

  • Landfill and ground gas monitoring (methane).

  • Preparation of air quality reports.

  • Air Quality Action Plans.

  • Environment Statements (to accompany an Environmental Impact Assessment).

Points to consider...

Some important points to consider when commissioning an air quality assessment:

To enable us to produce an accurate assessment using ADMS-Roads where traffic impact is a dominant source, we will require traffic data (AADTs) and other information from a Transport Assessment. We work closely with companies who carry out Transportation Services and would be able to refer you or manage a Transport Assessment on your behalf if required.

For delivery of our air quality assessment report we will usually require two to three weeks from receipt of formal instruction (if traffic information and AADTs is readily available). However, we will always strive to meet your deadline if it falls within this timeframe.

The local Environmental Health Officer and Highways should be contacted to help ascertain the scope of the air quality assessment. This may also affect the need and scope for additional data to support the assessment such as the location of AADTs within the area of a new development.