FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

AIR QUALITY

 
What is an Air Quality Assessment?
An Air Quality Assessment evaluates existing pollution levels in a given area, considering how they will change as a result of new local developments. This change could be the result of a new housing development being introduced, the removal of a supermarket or any other situation where pollution sources change. Mitigation may be required to offset additional pollution from new developments if pollution levels get too high. 

What is air quality testing and how is it done?
Air quality testing involves the sampling and laboratory analysis of pollution to accurately determine levels of individual pollutants such as Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2). All local authorities have a responsibility to undertake air quality monitoring within their area of administration. Samples are usually taken with diffusion tubes or automatic analysers such as those that form the AURN.

How do I assess Air quality?
In the UK, Air Quality is assessed in line with the IAQM and DEFRA guidelines. Where a new development has the potential to impact on air quality by increasing the number of cars on the road or introducing a new combustion plant, a screening assessment is first undertaken. The screening assessment will determine if and where impacts may occur. If there is a potential for impacts following the screening assessment, a computational Air Quality Dispersion Model should be produced to determine the likely extent of air quality impacts.

Do I need to assess air quality for planning?
Although all developments should consider Air Quality as part of their planning application, an Air Quality Assessment is only required when there is the potential for impacts on the surrounding area or the future site users will be introduced into an area of potentially high pollution.

What Is an Air Quality Neutral Assessment?
An Air Quality Neutral Assessment compares the predicted emissions generated by a London development against predetermined benchmarks. Where a development exceeds these benchmarks, the development is required to amend the proposed development or add mitigation measures to offset future pollution.

DUST

 

What does CEMP stand for and What is a CEMP?

A Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) outlines site specific measures to be implemented during the construction phase of a project to monitor, control and mitigate adverse impacts on the surrounding area.

 

How to I assess construction Dust

a construction dust risk assessment or CEMP is undertaken by considering the extent and timeframe of works to be undertaken on site. A site specific level of mitigation will then be detailed to ensure impacts on the surrounding area are negligible.

How do I keep construction dust down

Site specific construction dust mitigation measures are decided based on demolition, earthworks, construction and trackout processes. These mitigation measures could include dust monitoring programs, material storage solutions, and waste management procedures. 

 

Is construction dust harmful

Construction dust is considered to be harmful to both human health and property. Significant amounts of fugitive dust from construction processes may cause respiratory difficulties or long term illness, it may also cause damage to property such as car paintwork.

ODOUR

 

what is an odour impact assessment?

An odour impact assessment considered the potential for a development to generate nuisance odour which could impact neighbouring units, or for the proposed development to be located in an area where there is a likelihood of existing unpleasant odours. Mitigation measures may be required if odour impacts are likely.

How do I assess Odour

Odour can be assessed through quantitative computational dispersion modelling, or through Qualitative risk assessment. Both methods can be combined with on-site odour surveys “Sniff Tests” to provide robust and reliable results.

When do I need to do an odour impact assessment

An Odour Impact Assessment is required if a proposed development will generate significant odours, such as a food production facility. Alternatively an Odour Impact Assessment may be required If located in close proximity to an existing odour source, such as a sewage treatment works.

what guidance do I need to use to assess odour

it is common practice across the UK to use the IAQM and H4 guidance in the assessment of odour impacts. Additionally, some local authorities or commercial bodies have their own guidance which will need to be considered during an assessment.

DAYLIGHT, SUNLIGHT AND OVERSHADOWING

 

How do I assess Daylight, Sunlight and Overshadowing

Daylight and Sunlight are assessed by looking at the ration between the greatest possible amount of natural light a room could receive against how much a room actually receives. Overshadowing is assessed by measuring the amount of external amenity area which receives direct sunlight during a given day. New developments are assessed with the use of computational models to determine the significance of potential impacts in line with the BRE guidance.