Air Quality Habitats Regulations Assessment – Moors Farm, Lancashire

Air Quality Habitats Regulations Assessment - Moors Farm, Lancashire

Redmore Environmental was commissioned to undertake an Air Quality Habitats Regulations Assessment in support of a proposed extension to a livestock building on land at Moors Farm, Lancashire.

Why was an Air Quality Habitats Regulations Assessment Required?

Two planning applications for the development were submitted to Wyre Council in April 2023. Following submission, a number of concerns were raised by Natural England. These were in relation to potential air quality impacts from the development as livestock buildings are a major source of ammonia emissions. Consequently, we initially undertook a SCAIL Assessment for the site, and with exceedences of Natural England thresholds for designated sites identified, an Air Quality Habitats Regulations Assessment was therefore required.

The Air Quality Habitats Regulations Assessment was undertaken to assess likely effects on European Sites, and Sites of Special Scientific Interest, and to determine whether adverse impacts on site integrity could be ruled out. The assessment included detailed dispersion modelling of the development, and an Appropriate Assessment in accordance with Natural England guidance. This included details of potential emission sources, local meteorological conditions, consideration of nearby ecological sites and their sensitivity to air pollution, and an assessment of the likely impact to these sites caused by the development alone, and in-combination with other nearby projects.

Results and Findings

The outcomes of the dispersion modelling indicated that a conclusion of no likely significant effect as a result of the development could be reached for three of the nearby ecological designations. However, this conclusion could not be reached for Morecambe Bay and Duddon Estuary Special Protection Area (SPA), Morecambe Bay Ramsar, and Wyre Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). These therefore required further consideration in the form of an Appropriate Assessment.

For the Appropriate Assessment, considerations were given to:

  • Site survey data;
  • Qualifying features of the sites;
  • Site critical loads and levels exceedences;
  • Background pollution levels;
  • Site conservation objectives; and,
  • In-combination effects with other live developments.

Based on these considerations, adverse effects on site integrity as a result of air quality impacts from the development could be ruled out. As such, the conclusion of the Air Quality Habitats Regulations Assessment indicated that the proposed development would not have significant adverse impacts on designated sites. Planning permission was subsequently granted with no further objections raised by Natural England or the Greater Manchester Ecology Unit.

How Can We Help?

If you have a development within the jurisdiction of Wyre Council, or elsewhere in the UK, are concerned about agricultural ammonia emissions, or need help addressing Natural England air quality objections or requests then get in touch today to discuss how we can support your planning application.

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