Redmore Environmental was commissioned to undertake an Air Quality Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in support of the Clifton Business Park development on land north of Wakefield Road, Brighouse, West Yorkshire. The proposals comprised the development of 24ha of greenfield land incorporating B2/B8 uses, new access and associated infrastructure.
Calderdale Council (CC) had issued screening and scoping opinions prior to the assessment which identified air quality as a relevant consideration for inclusion within the EIA. The Air Quality Environmental Impact Assessment considered several air quality issues based on the CC scoping opinion. Firstly, there was a requirement to utilise the West Yorkshire Low Emissions Strategy (WYLES) Technical Planning Guidance to determine the scale of the development and associated mitigation based on the criteria set out in the guidance.
Secondly, the assessment needed to consider two separate Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs), declared by two local authorities: Calderdale Council (Calderdale No.6) and Kirklees Council (Kirklees AQMA). The Calderdale No.6 AQMA was located immediately west of the site and, as such, impacts from traffic produced during the operational phase needed to be assessed to identify potential impacts within this sensitive area. The Kirklees AQMA was distanced from the development site. However, due to the large number of vehicle trips the scheme was predicted generate, it was important to consider potential changes in emissions and associated pollutant concentrations further afield.
Air Quality Environmental Impact Assessment Methodology and Findings
The Air Quality Environmental Impact Assessment included the use of ADMS-Roads to assess pollutant concentrations with and without the development in place. Sensitive receptor locations were identified in the vicinity of the site and within the two AQMAs. Road speeds were reduced in the model along the A644 to take account of slower moving traffic as a result of major road works. The results indicated that changes in concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of less than 10µm (PM10) were not significant at any receptor location.
Two contour plots were also produced for the relevant AQMAs to visually assess the potential for both NO2 and PM10 concentrations to exceed the relevant air quality objectives. The contours demonstrated that the pollutant levels were below the relevant criteria at all sensitive locations.
An air quality damage cost calculation was undertaken based on the methodology outlined within the WYLES Technical Planning Guidance. The development was classified as a major scale proposal as it provided more than 2,500m2 of B1 land use and was predicted to generate 100 or more two-way vehicle movements per day. As such, suitable mitigation measures were proposed. These included provision of electric vehicle charging points throughout the development and the production of a Travel Plan to encourage the use of sustainable transport modes.
Based on the assessment results, the site was considered to be suitable for the proposed end-use from an air quality perspective. The Air Quality Environmental Impact Assessment Chapter was subsequently used to support a planning application for the development.
How Can We Help?
If you are concerned about air quality issues associated with your development, or have a requirement for an Air Quality Environmental Impact Assessment, do not hesitate to get in touch today to see how we can help.