Quality statement 2: Planning applications

Quality statement

Local planning authorities assess proposals to minimise and mitigate road-traffic-related air pollution in planning applications for major developments.

Rationale

The built environment can affect the emission of road-traffic-related air pollutants by influencing how and how much people travel, for example, by ensuring good connections to walking and cycling networks. Buildings can affect the way air pollutants are dispersed through street design and the resulting impact on air flow. Addressing air pollution at the planning stage for major developments may reduce the need for more expensive remedial action at a later stage. It can also help to maintain people's health and wellbeing during and after construction. Assessing proposals to minimise and mitigate road-traffic-related air pollution will help to ensure they are robust and evidence based.

Quality measures

Structure

a) Evidence of local processes and guidance that ensure planning applications for major developments include proposals to minimise and mitigate road-traffic-related air pollution.

Data source: Local data collection, for example, review of supplementary planning guidance.

b) Evidence of a local framework for assessing proposals to minimise and mitigate road-traffic-related air pollution in planning applications for major developments.

Data source: Local data collection, for example, review of supplementary planning guidance.

Process

Proportion of planning applications for major developments granted permission with conditions or obligations to minimise and mitigate road-traffic-related air pollution.

Numerator – the number in the denominator with conditions or obligations to minimise and mitigate road-traffic-related air pollution.

Denominator – the number of planning applications for major developments granted permission.

Data source: Local data collection, for example, local planning application system.

Outcome

a) Proportion of journeys made by local residents that are by walking, cycling, public transport or zero- or low-emission vehicles.

Data source: Local data collection, for example, survey of residents. Data for local authorities from the Department for Transport National Travel Survey are available under special licence.

b) Annual and hourly mean concentrations for nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

Data source: Local data collection, for example, monitoring results are included in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' Local Air Quality Management annual status report. Modelled data from the Automatic Urban and Rural Network are available from the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs' UK Air Information Resource.

c) Annual and daily mean concentrations for particulate matter of 10 micrometres or less in diameter (PM10).

Data source: Local data collection, for example, monitoring results are included in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' Local Air Quality Management annual status report. Modelled data from the Automatic Urban and Rural Network are available from the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs' UK Air Information Resource.

d) Annual mean concentration for fine particulate matter of 2.5 micrometres or less in diameter (PM2.5).

Data source: Local data collection, for example, monitoring results are included in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' Local Air Quality Management annual status report. Modelled data from the Automatic Urban and Rural Network are available from the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs' UK Air Information Resource.

What the quality statement means for different audiences

Local planning authorities ensure planning applications for major developments include proposals to minimise and mitigate road-traffic-related air pollution during and after construction. Local planning authorities provide guidance for applicants and have a clear framework for assessing proposals in line with the Local Plan, local transport plan and other key strategies. Local guidance should make it clear that proposals to minimise or mitigate road-traffic-related air pollution must be evidence based. Local planning authorities monitor compliance with planning conditions or obligations to minimise and mitigate road-traffic-related air pollution.

Local authority planning officers assess proposals to minimise and mitigate road-traffic-related air pollution in planning applications for major developments using an agreed local framework to ensure they are evidence based. Local authority planning officers encourage applicants to modify their planning applications if necessary, to include evidence-based approaches to minimise or mitigate road-traffic-related air pollution.

Planning applicants for major developments know that the local planning authority will assess proposals to minimise and mitigate road-traffic-related air pollution in planning applications to ensure they are evidence based. Planning applicants can get information on what the local planning authority is looking for and how the proposals will be assessed. Planning applicants for major developments modify their application to improve the approach to minimising or mitigating road-traffic-related air pollution if required by the local authority.

People in the community know that their local planning authorities require developers to show how they will minimise road-traffic-related air pollution and improve local air quality around big building projects when they apply for planning permission. This is to help protect local people from the effects of air pollution on their health.

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Major developments

Development involving any one or more of the following:

  • the winning and working of minerals or the use of land for mineral-working deposits

  • waste development

  • the provision of dwelling houses where:

    • the number of dwelling houses to be provided is 10 or more or

    • the development is to be carried out on a site having an area of 0.5 hectares or more and the number of dwelling houses is not known

  • the provision of a building or buildings where the floor space to be created by the development is 1,000 square metres or more or

  • development carried out on a site having an area of 1 hectare or more.

[Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015, Section 2]

Equality and diversity considerations

Local planning authorities should ensure that proposals to encourage active travel in planning applications for major developments are accessible to people with limited mobility or disabilities.