Redmore Environmental recently undertook an assessment of air quality in Manchester to support a planning application for a residential development. The scheme comprised 163 dwellings and associated infrastructure and was located on land off Manchester Road West, Little Hulton, within the administrative areas of Salford City Council and Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council.
Air Quality in Manchester
Air quality in Manchester is monitored by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), which consists of Bolton, Bury, Manchester City, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, and Wigan. Levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM) are recorded at roadside and urban locations, as well as at schools and residential properties. The most recent Air Quality Annual Status Report produced by the GCMA, containing recent and historic air quality monitoring results, indicates a general improvement in pollutant concentrations during recent years, but there are still some areas that remain above acceptable limits. As such, an Air Quality Assessment is usually required in support of planning applications for new developments to ensure future occupiers will not be exposed to harmful levels of pollution and the scheme itself will not worsen existing air quality conditions at sensitive locations during construction and operation.
What Potential Air Quality Issues were Identified at the Proposed Development Site?
The first stage in the assessment was to undertake a desktop study to identify any potential air quality issues at the site. This indicated that the development was situated adjacent to Manchester Road West, a heavily trafficked A-road leading into the City of Manchester. In addition, there were several existing residential properties situated within the vicinity of the site which could be affected by emissions generated during the construction and operational phases of the scheme. It was therefore necessary to carry out an Air Quality Assessment in order to predict pollutant levels at the development location and determine the potential for adverse effects at sensitive receptors as a result of the proposal.
How was Air Quality Assessed at the Proposed Development Site?
Dispersion modelling of road traffic sources was undertaken in order to predict pollutant concentrations across the development site. Changes in NO2 and PM levels at existing residential properties as result of road traffic emissions generated by vehicles travelling to and from the scheme during operation was also determined using the ADMS-roads software.
The dispersion modelling results were compared with relevant air quality standards, which indicated levels to be below acceptable limits at the site. Mitigation, such as mechanical ventilation within the proposed houses or a standoff distance from Manchester Road West, was therefore not required.
The results also indicated negligible impacts on air quality conditions at all sensitive receptors within the vicinity of the site in accordance with the Institute of Air Quality Management (IAQM) guidance ‘Land-Use Planning & Development Control: Planning for Air Quality’.
Fugitive dust emissions during construction were assessed in accordance with the methodology contained within the IAQM document ‘Guidance on the Assessment of Dust from Demolition and Construction V1.1‘. This indicated that good practice control measures would be required in order to prevent dust disamenity and health impacts during the construction phase of the development.
The results were summarised in a technical report produced by Redmore Environmental. This was subsequently used to support the planning application for the development.
How Can We Help?
If you are concerned about air quality in Manchester or require an Air Quality Assessment to support a planning application for your development, then please get in touch today to discuss how we can help you ensure permission is granted.