Air Quality Assessments are a specialist service provided by HRS Services in a number of different types for planning and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) purposes across the UK. These may include scoping reports, screening assessments or detailed air quality impact assessments presented as either a standalone report or as a technical chapter within a wider submission document. Whatever your air quality assessment needs, we can offer a tailor made service to meet your requirements. Whether it be assessing the impact of existing air quality on a proposed residential development or quantifying the impact of a large scale development on a local community, HRS Services has the required air quality assessment expertise to assist you.

Background and Legislation

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requires that local authorities take into account the presence of Air Quality Management Areas and the cumulative impact on air quality from developments when making planning decisions. In London the NPPF is augmented by the London Councils Air Quality and Planning Guidance.

In general, where a proposed development is in an area of poor air quality and/or will have a significant impact on air quality of the surrounding area (either directly or indirectly), an air quality assessment will need to accompany the planning application. On occasion the local authority may be prepared to consider the air quality assessment post planning, as a reserved matter.

Additionally, most local authorities require an air quality assessment where the development includes a biomass boiler, CHP plant and/or a large car park.

Following publication of the London Plan and the Mayor of London’s Sustainable Design and Control Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) we also undertake “Air Quality Neutral” assessments, which are now required for all major new developments. These assessments focus on the building and transport emissions over a year and compare these with a benchmarked emission rate.

Air Quality Assessment Services

HRS Services employs independent air quality consultants, specialising in air quality assessments for planning and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) purposes.

These assessments typically examine the impact of both the construction and operational phases of a particular development. The impacts are compared against UK air quality objectives and/or significance criteria defined within relevant air quality guidance.

Depending on the scale of these impacts the air quality assessment may also discuss the mitigation measures that will need to be adopted. Such measures will focus on the reduction of emissions during the construction phase, plus any measures relating to the introduction of new exposure into an area of existing poor air quality and/or the wider impacts of a proposed development on local air quality.

Supporting Planning Applications

HRS is able to prepare the AQA to accompany the planning application/discharge the reserve matter.

This will involve liaising with the local authority to agree the relevant air quality criteria and the content of the air quality assessment.

Subsequently preparation of the air quality assessment will involve one or more of the following:

  • A desktop review of air quality using existing monitoring and/or modelling data
  • Monitoring of air quality at the site to provide baseline data
  • Air dispersion modelling in accordance with Defra guidance LAQM.TG(03) and as agreed with the local authority
  • An assessment of the impact on air quality during the construction phase and detailed mitigation methods for controlling dust and pollution emissions associated with plant and vehicles
  • An indication of the number of receptors that will be exposed to poor air quality as a result of the development
  • An outline and justification of mitigation measures associated with the design, location and operation of the development. This includes consideration of orientation, elevation of residences, and the use of green infrastructure such as green walls, screens and trees
  • Monitoring of air quality during construction and/or operations

Contact HRS to discuss your project

Please call 0800 030 4391 or e-mail to discuss or arrange for these services to be carried out.

0800 030 4391


Relevant Accreditations

To see the wide range of accreditations that HRS Services hold, please visit our Accreditations page »

Need advice or a quotation give HRS a call on:
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