London Luton Airport – Environmental Permit

Environmental Permit for Boilers at Luton Airport

Redmore Environmental was commissioned to provide application for an Environmental Permit for boilers installed at London Luton Airport, Luton. This included preparation of relevant documentation, as well as a detailed Air Quality Assessment.

London Luton Airport is located approximately 30-miles north of Central London and is in the top five busiest airports in the UK. In 2018, approximately 16.8 million users passed through its single passenger terminal.

Heat and hot water is provided to the terminal through the combustion of natural gas within four dedicated boilers, each with a thermal input of 1,050kW. Due to the size and nature of the plant, an Environmental Permit was required prior to first operation.

Why Is An Environmental Permit For Boilers Required?

Atmospheric emissions from combustion plant are controlled in the UK through the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations and The Pollution Prevention & Control (Scotland) Regulations. Compliance with the conditions set out within the relevant legislation must be demonstrated through periodic monitoring requirements, which have been established in order to limit potential impacts in the surrounding area.

Combustion emissions from the boilers at London Luton Airport have the potential to cause air quality impacts during normal operation. As such, an Environmental Permit Application was required in order to ensure compliance with the relevant regulations. Without a permit, the boilers could not be legally operated.

How Did We Assist With The Environmental Permit Application?

In order to obtain an Environmental Permit for boilers an application must be submitted to the regulator. This could be the Environment Agency, Scottish Environment Protection Agency or Natural Resource Wales depending on the geographical location of the plant in the UK.

An Environmental Permit Application is a complicated submission, with a wide variety of documentation and assessments required in order to ensure the installation will be operated in manner that minimises potential risks to the environment. If all the required information is not provided then this can lead to repeated requests from the regulator, resulting in significant delays in permit issue. Many organisations therefore seek assistance to provide help and advice throughout the process. The level of support can range from the provision of individual assessments through to completion of the entire application.

For the purposes of the London Luton Airport project, we provided a bespoke scope of works for delivering all elements of the associated Environmental Permit submission.

As London Luton Airport is located in England, the application was submitted to the Environment Agency. This included the following working stages:

  • Pre-application discussions with the Environment Agency to determine the most appropriate permitting route for the plant;
  • Completion of Environment Agency Environmental Permit Application forms;
  • Completion of a Supporting Information Report; and,
  • Air Quality Assessment utilising detailed Dispersion Modelling to demonstrate the potential for air quality impacts associated with atmospheric emissions from the plant, in accordance with Environment Agency guidance.

The Air Quality Assessment was the most technical aspect of the submission. Impacts at both human and ecological receptors were considered due to the proximity of the site to a number of sensitive designations including eleven parcels of Ancient Woodland and seven Local Wildlife Sites, as well as several settlements.


The results of the Air Quality Assessment indicated that predicted pollutant concentrations as a result of emissions would not cause significant impacts at any sensitive receptor location in vicinity of the site. Based on the assessment results, air quality factors were not considered a constraint to the operation of the gas-fired boilers and the issue of the Environmental Permit.

The Air Quality Assessment was subsequently used to support the Environmental Permit Application for the plant, alongside the other supporting documents, which has since been granted by the Environment Agency.

How Can We Help?

If you require an Environmental Permit for boilers, an Air Quality Assessment for an energy plant or dispersion modelling of impacts from any other sources of atmospheric emissions, then please get in touch today to discuss how we can help to ensure your Environmental Permit is granted.

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