New EPUK and IAQM Guidance Document on Air Quality and Planning

Consultation now open on new EPUK and IAQM guidance: “Land-Use Planning and Development Control: Planning for Air Quality” – February 16 2015 deadline.

IAQM planning guidanceSTEP welcomes the revised guidance which will help to ensure that air quality is adequately considered in land use planning and development control processes. The guidance emphasises the importance of applying best practice measures to all developments, to both reduce pollutant emissions, and human exposure to emissions.

While this guidance applies to the planning system in England and Wales, the general principles contained in the document are applicable across the United Kingdon. A separate document will be adapted for use in the Scottish planning system.

The full consultation document can be viewed here. Comments should be sent to planning@iaqm.co.uk  before the closing date of 16 February 2015.

Environmental Audit Committee – Action on Air Quality Report

The EAC’s recently-published air quality enquiry report Action on Air Quality provides policy recommendations aimed at helping to tackle the UK’s air pollution ‘public health crisis’ by both reducing emissions and human exposure to emissions, as well as raising public awareness of the issues. The report has been broadly welcomed by air quality campaigners, policy makers and experts – see here for a range of views on the report.

Key recommendations include:

– Introducing a national framework for low emission zones to help local authorities reduce air pollution.

– Adjusting planning guidance to protect air quality in local planning and development.

– Closing legal loopholes to end the practice of removing filter systems from existing vehicles.

– Institute a national public awareness campaign to increase understanding and encourage measures to reduce air pollution.

The full report can be viewed here.