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Air Quality and Development

Whether or not Air Quality (opens new window) is relevant to a planning decision will depend on the proposed development and its location. If you are planning a development that has the potential to impact on local air quality, you may be required to submit an air quality impact assessment to support your proposal.

The purpose of an air quality assessment is to demonstrate the likely changes in air quality or exposure to air pollutants, as a result of a proposed development. There are three basic steps in an assessment:

  • Assess the existing air quality in the study area (existing baseline);
  • Predict the future air quality without the development in place (future baseline);
  • Predict the future air quality with the development in place (with development).

Further guidance on when to undertake an air quality impact assessment, and what the assessment should include, is contained in Environmental Protection's UK's guidance document Guidance in Land-use Planning and Development Control: Planning for Air Quality January 2017 (opens new window)

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