Air Pollution and Planning

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Most new industrial developments require planning permission; certain types of developments will also need to carry out an environmental impact assessment as part of the planning procedure. The public have a right to comment on planning applications, which are advertised in the local press and copies placed on the local planning register.

When drawing up their development plans (now known as Local Development Frameworks) and making decisions on individual applications local authorities must have regard to Government guidance on pollution control. In England the relevant document is the National Planning Policy Framework 2012; in Scotland Planning Advice Note 51, Planning, Environmental Protection and Regulation provides supplementary advice in support of Scottish Planning Policy which sets out the national framework. Planning Policy Wales sets out land use policies of the Welsh Assembly Government and in Northern Ireland PPS 1 sets out general principles for land use.

Development Control Guidance

Environmental Protection UK, in partnership with the Institute of Air Quality Management, have produced a guidance document Land-Use Planning and Development Control: Planning for Air Quality, which replaces the 2010 EPUK Guidance document, to ensure that air quality is adequately considered in the land-use planning and development control processes.

The guidance sets out why air quality is an important consideration in many aspects of local authority spatial planning. It emphasises how good spatial planning can reduce exposure to air pollution, as well as providing other benefits of well-being to the wider community. It also emphasises the importance of applying good design and best-practice measures to all developments, to both reduce pollutant emissions and human exposure. It also provides guidance on how air quality considerations for individual schemes. This document has been slightly revised after a year, with a workshop reflecting on implementation issues. There are a few minor changes to the document.

The guidance can be downloaded here:

The previous version of the guidance is available here:

This follows a consultation with members of Environmental Protection UK and the Institute of Air Quality Management.

An initial scoping meeting was held, jointly by Environmental Protection UK and the Institute of Air Quality Management on the 22 May 2012, to discuss options and key issues for the guidance.

Previous EPUK Guidance – Development Control: Planning for Air Quality

The previous Environmental Protection UK guidance ‘Development Control: Planning for Air Quality’ (2010) is available here.

Government Action on Planning

The planning system in England is changing, and Environmental Protection UK are keen that this continues to protect and improve air quality.  Our response to the consultation on Planning Guidance, following the Taylor Review, is available here.

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