Redmore Environmental was instructed to undertake an Air Quality Damage Cost Assessment and associated Dispersion Modelling Study in support of a proposed retail unit on land off New Hey Road, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. The proposals included the demolition of existing structures and construction of a foodstore (Use Class A1) with car parking and landscaping.
Air Quality Damage Cost Assessment: Requirement
The site was located within the West Yorkshire local authority of Kirklees. The West Yorkshire local authorities have produced Air Quality and Emissions Technical Planning Guidance as part of an overarching Low Emissions Strategy to reduce road transport emissions in the county. The guidance provides information on how to consider air quality in support of planning applications and sets out an Air Quality and Emissions Mitigation Assessment Process. Local authorities in Bradford, Calderdale, Leeds, Wakefield and Kirklees have all adopted the guidance for use in the planning process.
As required by Kirklees Council, the Air Quality Assessment was completed in line with the technical planning guidance and included consideration of road traffic exhaust emissions and associated air quality damage cost assessment.
Dispersion Modelling Study
ADMS-Roads was utilised to assess the potential for air quality impacts at sensitive locations during the operational phase of the development. This involved dispersion modelling of emissions from the local highway network to determine the change in ambient pollutant concentrations associated with traffic generated by the scheme. The results indicated that impacts were predicted to be negligible at all sensitive receptor locations in the vicinity of the site.
Following consideration of the relevant issues, air quality impacts as a result of the operation of the development were considered to be not significant, in accordance with the Institute of Air Quality Management (IAQM) document Land-Use Planning & Development Control: Planning for Air Quality.
Air Quality Damage Cost Assessment: Outputs
The West Yorkshire Air Quality and Emissions Technical Planning Guidance indicates that an air quality damage cost assessment should be undertaken to identify the monetary value of predicted emissions from a proposal over a five year period. This is the amount that is then expected to be spent on measures to reduce the potential impact of the development on air quality.
In order to determine a cost-effective solution for the client, mitigation strategies to reduce the air quality impacts of road traffic emissions were identified and the financial obligations of these compared with the calculated exposure cost. This indicated that the amount attributable to emission control measures was significantly higher than the relevant exposure value.
The mitigation measures outlined were considered appropriate for the development and anticipated to further reduce air quality impacts of road traffic emissions.
Following submission of the Air Quality Assessment, the report was accepted by the Kirklees Council and the development has since received planning consent.