As economic growth is at the heart of Southampton’s aims, we need to review how we positively manage how this progress impacts air quality. For continued high levels of economic development, planning and other long-term projects need to embody the clean air strategy.
Here is specific, relevant information:
Air quality management areas
Currently there are 10 AQMAs in the Southampton area.
Smoke control areas
Since the 1960s smoke control areas have been introduced in many of our large towns and cities including Southampton.
Information for developers
The air quality review undertaken in Southampton identified areas at eight locations in the city where national objectives for air quality are unlikely to be met within the given timeframe. Poor air quality in all of these areas is the result of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) emissions from road transport.
The city council has a statutory duty to declare such locations as Air Quality Management Areas (AQMA) and to develop and implement an Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP).
The AQAP should set out how the city council will take action to move towards compliance with air quality objectives and prevent taking action that worsens air quality in AQMA.
The review and assessment of air quality is an ongoing process and future work could reveal changes that would result in 'un-declaration' of areas of the declaration of additional areas.
1. The impact of developments on ambient air quality is likely to be of particular importance in cases where:
i. The development is proposed in or adjacent to an AQMA
ii. The development could result in increased emissions, which result in the designation of an AQMA or extension of an existing AQMA
iii. To grant planning permission would conflict with, or render unworkable, elements of a local authority's adopted air quality action plan
2. The cumulative air quality impacts of a number of small developments should be taken into account when determining planning applications
3. Planning applications with an AQMA should be supported by information as is necessary to allow full consideration of the impact of the proposal on the air quality of the area (such as an Air Quality Impact Assessment)
4. It may be necessary in some cases for the developer to fund mitigating measures (using planning obligations) elsewhere within the AQMA to offset any increase in local air pollutant emissions as a consequence of the proposed development
Please see the flow diagram that we use to assess the significance of the air quality impact of a development.