Air Quality Assessments

Air Quality Assessments are becoming more commonly required by Local Authorities for sensitive developments in urban areas, those close to major roads and pollutant emissions sources as well as those which may contribute relatively large increases in traffic to existing road networks. This is particularly common in London, where there are a significant number of Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) which extend across the entirety of individual London Boroughs.
A combination of the poor air quality and the increase in demand for housing in popular urban areas is leading to an increase in the redevelopment of sites within poor air quality areas, many of which are in AQMAs.
Air Quality Assessments will normally have one or both of the following elements:

  • Site Suitability: to determine whether a particular site is suitable for residential development by virtue of its proximity to a major source of pollutant emissions or being located within an existing AQMA.
  • Impact Assessment: to determine whether the development is likely to result in a deterioration of local air quality as a result of increases in traffic movements, especially if these movements may cause the area to be declared as an AQMA.

The above elements are assessed through a review of the council’s localised monitoring data and through complex, yet cost effective air pollutant concentration modelling of the development site and its immediate surroundings.

ACCON UK is also able to assist in determining mitigation strategies, either through pollution reduction techniques such as mechanical ventilation, non-opening windows and NOx and NO2 filters, or through building redesigns, in order to assist our clients in obtaining planning approval for development sites.

As well as residential development, ACCON has been involved with air quality assessments for care homes, schools, hospitals and other developments that are either sensitive to poor air quality or generate vehicles on to the local road network.

Our work extends to odour assessments for projects ranging from sewage treatment works, to takeaways, to small garage spraybooths. We are able to provide odour concentration modelling and advice on effective mitigation methods and have represented clients at court hearings.