Redmore Environmental was instructed to undertake an Air Quality Assessment in support of a planning application for a residential development at Customs House, Dundee.
The proposals included the conversion and extension of the existing three-storey Customs House building and construction of two four-storey residential blocks to provide circa 49 residential apartments.
Dundee Air Quality Assessment
The site was located adjacent to the A92 South Marketgait within an Air Quality Management Area which has been declared by Dundee City Council due to high pollution levels. An Air Quality Assessment was therefore undertaken to determine whether the proposals would exposure future residents to poor air quality, as well as cause air quality impacts during the construction and operational phases. The Dundee Air Quality Assessment was undertaken in accordance with the Scottish guidance documents, including the Air Quality (Scotland) Regulations (2010) which introduced an Air Quality Objective for particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of less than 2.5µm (PM2.5) in 2016.
Assessment Methodology and Findings
Baseline traffic flows for the assessment were requested from Dundee City Council who undertake their own surveys throughout the city. In addition, recently committed developments within the vicinity of the scheme were considered for use in the air quality dispersion model. These were identified and confirmed with the highways department at Dundee City Council and applied to the do-minimum scenario. Predicted flows generated from the Customs House development were then added to create the do-something scenario.
Dispersion modelling using ADMS-Roads software was undertaken to determine the impacts caused by traffic exhaust emissions associated with vehicles travelling to and from the development at existing sensitive receptor locations, inclusive of the committed developments. The results indicated that nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of less than 10µm (PM10) and PM2.5 concentrations as a result of the proposed development were negligible at these locations.
The proposal had the potential to expose future occupants to poor air quality. The modelling results indicated that predicted concentrations of NO2 were above the criteria at the ground floor building façade fronting South Marketgait. As such, mitigation in the form of mechanical ventilation was recommended to ensure a supply of clean air for residential units at these locations.
In addition, there is the potential for air quality impacts as a result of fugitive dust emissions during the construction phase. As such, a construction dust assessment was undertaken to assess the impacts associated with demolition, earthworks, construction and trackout. These were assessed in accordance with the Institute of Air Quality management guidance ‘Assessment of dust from demolition and construction‘. Following the analysis, it was concluded that good practice control measures would reduce dust emissions to an acceptable level during construction.