Developments which are likely to cause a deterioration in local air quality (especially if this deterioration occurs in an area which already breaches an air quality objective or results in increased levels of particles) will normally require an air quality impact assessment. In addition, developments located in an area of poor air quality, which will expose future occupiers to pollutant concentrations above air quality objective levels also require an assessment.
The overall aim of an air quality assessment is to determine whether the development will have an unacceptable impact on air quality or whether the existing air quality environment is unacceptable for the proposed development.
If a development is determined to result in a deterioration of air quality, we will aim to reduce this impact by securing mitigation or off-setting measures that will allow the development to progress.
Similarly if a development introduces sensitive receptors into an area of poor air quality, we will expect the developer to ensure all measures are taken to secure an acceptable environment for new receptors.
Where an air quality assessment is required as part of a planning application, guidance is often sought by the applicant as how best to undertake this to the satisfaction of the local authority. We have produced an Interim Policy Guidance (IPG) document on standards and requirements for improving local air quality, which sets out situations when an assessment may be required and suggests methods of undertaking such an assessment within the Croydon area. A copy can be downloaded from the link below.
The interim policy guidance has been adopted within our local development framework as a replacement for SPG 16. The IPG is a material consideration when the council considers planning applications.