Air quality and planning

Air quality is a material consideration in the planning process for development proposals, particularly if the application may:

  • Conflict with proposals in our Air Quality Action Plan or Clean Air Strategy
  • Lead to a deterioration in air quality as a direct result of the proposal
  • Increase human exposure in areas of existing poor air quality

The following aspects of a development will be considered in terms of the development’s impact on air quality:

  • Existing air quality as informed by our monitoring network or additional monitoring carried out by the developer
  • Impact of additional traffic movements, construction and demolition, new industrial emission sources or other processes on local air quality on sensitive receptors including both residential properties and designated habitats
  • Level of increased exposure to air pollutants by way of new receptors introduced to the area
  • Cumulative impacts of several local developments
  • Any proposed mitigation included in the design of the development

Informal guidance

To support developers, we have produced informal guidance to support with proposals that might impact local air quality. The guidance provides examples of good practice, detailed support on air quality and the planning process along with regulatory requirements.

We are currently reviewing responses to the Local Plan consultation held earlier this year, we expect elements of the informal guidance to be included in the new Southampton City Vision. We want to work with developers to make sure the final version has been produced in collaboration and we welcome your feedback.

If you have any questions on the guidance, or would like to send us your feedback, please contact us at

For more information see: