Publication - Research and analysis

National Planning Framework 4 - improving air quality outcomes: research

Published: 25 Nov 2020

Research findings on improving air quality outcomes that will help inform policy development for National Planning Framework 4.

National Planning Framework 4 - improving air quality outcomes: research
Annex B: Air Quality Specific Policies

Annex B: Air Quality Specific Policies

Ref. 1: Policy - Aberdeen City Council

Development proposals which may have a detrimental impact on air quality will not be permitted unless measures to mitigate the impact of air pollutants are proposed and agreed with the Planning Authority. Planning applications for such proposals should be accompanied by an assessment of the likely impact of development on air quality and any mitigation measures proposed.

The relevant Supplementary Guidance Air Quality, detailed below sets out the likely circumstances in which applicants must submit an assessment of the potential impact of particular types of development on existing and future air quality, particularly in and around Air Quality Management Areas. It also provides guidance on the process of air quality assessment and how mitigation measures will be assessed and implemented.

Ref. 2: Policy - Dundee City Council

There is a general presumption against development proposals that could significantly increase air pollution or introduce people into areas of elevated pollution concentrations unless mitigation measures are adopted to reduce the impact to levels acceptable to the Council.

Ref. 3: Policy - East Ayrshire Council

Air:
All developers will be required to ensure that their proposals have minimal adverse impact on air quality. Air quality assessments will be required for any proposed development which the Council considers may significantly impact upon air quality, either on its own or cumulatively. Development that will have a significant adverse impact on air quality will not be supported.

Ref. 4: Policy - East Lothian Council

Impacts on air quality will be taken into account in assessing development proposals, particularly within and close to any Air Quality Management Area (AQMA). An Air Quality Assessment may be required for developments that are within an AQMA or where the proposed development may cause or exacerbate a breach of National Air Quality Standards.

Development proposals that would result in either a breach of National Air Quality Standards or a significant increase in concentrations of air pollution within an existing AQMA will not be supported unless appropriate mitigation measures can be put in place. Financial contributions to strategic air quality mitigation measures will be necessary in these circumstances.

Ref. 5: Policy - East Renfrewshire Council

Proposals will be required to ensure that local air quality is protected. An Air Quality Assessment may be required where the proposed development may cause or exacerbate a breach of National Air Quality Standards. Development proposals that would result in a significant increase in concentrations of air pollution will not be supported unless appropriate mitigation measures can be put in place.

Ref. 6: Policy - Edinburgh City Council

Planning permission will only be granted for development where:
a) there will be no significant adverse effects for health, the environment and amenity and either
b) there will be no significant adverse effects on: air, and soil quality; the quality of the water environment; or on ground stability
c) appropriate mitigation to minimise any adverse effects can be provided.

Ref. 7: Policy - Falkirk Council

Development should not exacerbate existing air quality issues or introduce new sources of pollution which impact on local air quality without appropriate mitigation. Impacts on air quality will be taken into account in assessing development proposals, particularly within Air Quality Management Areas (AQMA). An Air Quality Assessment may be required for developments that are within an AQMA or where the proposed development may cause or significantly contribute towards a breach of National Air Quality Standards. Development proposals that result in either a breach of National Air Quality Standards or a significant increase in concentrations within an existing AQMA will not be permitted unless there are overriding issues of national or local importance.

Ref. 8: Policy - Highland Council

Development proposals which, individually or cumulatively, may adversely affect the air quality in an area to a level which could cause harm to human health and wellbeing or the natural environment must be accompanied by appropriate provisions, such as an Air Quality Assessment, (deemed satisfactory to the Local Authority and SEPA as appropriate) which demonstrate how such impacts will be mitigated.

Some existing land uses may have a localised detrimental effect on air quality. Any proposals to locate development in the vicinity of such uses and therefore introduce receptors to these areas (e.g. housing adjacent to busy roads) must consider whether this would result in conflict with the existing land use. Proposals which would result in an unacceptable conflict with the existing land use to air quality impacts will not be approved.

Ref. 9: Policy - Inverclyde Council

Development that could have a detrimental impact on air quality, or would introduce a sensitive receptor to an area with poor air quality, will be required to be accompanied by an Air Quality Assessment, which identifies the likely impacts and sets out how these will be mitigated to an acceptable level.

Ref. 10: Policy - Midlothian Council

The Council may require further assessment (either as part of Environmental Impact Assessment or separately) to identify air quality impacts where the Council's Environmental Health service and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) considers it requisite. It will refuse planning permission, or seek effective mitigation, where development proposals cause unacceptable air quality or dust impacts, or would result in sensitive uses, which give rise to air pollution concerns, being located within or close to uses with potential to generate such pollution.

Ref. 11: Policy - Perth and Kinross Council

The Council has a responsibility to improve air quality. The LDP does this by seeking to prevent the creation of new pollution hotspots, and to prevent introduction of new human exposure where there could be existing poor air quality.

The LDP extends support to low emission technologies for both transport and energy production.

As well as aspiring to improve air quality, the policy also aspires to eliminate the gradual worsening in air quality that is caused by the cumulative impact of many small developments. Within or adjacent to designated Air Quality Management Areas, where pollutant concentration are in excess of the national air quality objectives and may pose a risk to human health, development proposals that would adversely affect air quality may not be permitted. There is a presumption against locating development catering for sensitive receptors in areas where they may be exposed to elevated pollution levels.

Any proposed development that could have a detrimental effect on air quality, through exacerbation of existing air quality issues or introduction of new sources of pollution (including dust and/or odour), must provide appropriate mitigation measures. The LDP expects that some type of mitigation of air quality impacts will be required for all but the smallest developments. Best practice design measures should therefore be considered early in the design and placemaking process.

Proposals and mitigation measures must not conflict with the actions proposed in Air Quality Action Plans.

An air quality impact assessment will usually be required where the Council considers that there may be a risk of an air quality impact upon human health.

The main ways in which development may potentially impact upon air quality are as follows:
(a) introducing new human exposure at a location with poor air quality (e.g. within an existing Air Quality Management Area or close to a busy road or junction);
(b) the development may itself lead to a deterioration in local air quality (e.g. from increased vehicle emissions or flue emissions from heating or energy production plant); and
(c) if the demolition/construction phase will have an impact upon the local environment (e.g. through fugitive dust and/or exhaust emissions from machinery and vehicles).

The cumulative impact of other consented development and of these three criteria will be taken into account. In line with best practice, screening criteria will be used to identify where impacts are insignificant. Supplementary guidance will set out how air quality will be considered when determining planning applications.
The Council keeps an evidence base of air quality and has developed a high-resolution dispersion model for the LDP area.

Ref. 12: Policy - Renfrewshire Council

Development proposals individually or cumulatively should not have a significant adverse effect on air quality particularly within or adjacent to Renfrewshire’s Air Quality Management Areas as shown on the Proposals Maps. Where required, planning applications should be accompanied by an air quality assessment which demonstrates the likely impact on air quality and how such impacts will be mitigated, including measures that support active travel and public transport as an alternative to private vehicular traffic.

Ref. 13: Policy - Scottish Borders Council

Development proposals that, individually or cumulatively, could adversely affect the quality of air in a locality to a level that could potentially harm human health and wellbeing or the integrity of the natural environment, must be accompanied by provisions that the Council is satisfied will minimise such impacts to an acceptable degree. Where it is considered appropriate the Council may request that an Air Quality Assessment is undertaken to assist determination of an application.

Ref. 14: Policy - South Ayrshire Council

We will not allow development which would expose significant numbers of people to unacceptable levels of air, noise or light pollution.

Ref. 15: Policy - South Lanarkshire Council

Development proposals which have the potential to have a detrimental impact on air quality or introduce new relevant human exposure into an area where there is existing poor air quality will not be acceptable unless measures to mitigate the impact of air pollutants are proposed and can be agreed with the planning authority. The Council will, in assessing an application for such developments, require the submission of an assessment of the likely impact of the development on air quality and any proposed mitigation measures. This assessment should include:

  • existing air quality in the study area (base year),
  • prediction of the future air quality without the proposed development in place (future base year),
  • future air quality with the development in place,
  • measures required to mitigate the potential impact on air quality,
  • future year air quality predictions with and without proposed development in place should include any other committed developments,
  • a construction phase dust impact assessment may also be required based on the size and location of the development.

In addition, developers must take cognisance of other relevant planning guidance, including the Council's Air Quality Action Plan.

Ref. 16: Policy - West Dunbartonshire Council

Air:
Development that would have a significant adverse impact on air quality, exacerbate existing air quality problems, or introduce sensitive receptors close to areas with air quality problems, will not be permitted unless adequate mitigation measures are included with the proposals.

Ref. 17: Policy - West Lothian Council

Where appropriate, developers will be required to provide additional information on the impact of their proposed development on air quality.
Where a development is likely to affect air quality, developers should identify and provide details of potential mitigation measures and, where appropriate, should make provision for developer contributions or planning obligations to mitigate the development’s individual or cumulative impacts upon air quality.
Development promoting behaviour change programmes in Linlithgow and Broxburn/Uphall to facilitate modal shift of shorter journeys to walking and cycling is supported in principle.
Development will not be supported where it is not possible to mitigate the adverse effects of that development on air quality effectively or where development proposals cause unacceptable air quality or dust impacts, or would result in sensitive uses, which give rise to air pollution concerns, being located within or close to uses with potential to generate such pollution.
Where appropriate, planning conditions will be imposed which require air quality monitoring apparatus to be installed.


Contact

Email: scotplan@gov.scot