Redmore Environmental was instructed to undertake an Air Quality Assessment in support of the conversion and extension of an existing office at 55 Portland Street, Manchester, with ground floor retail units, construction of a new build 183 bedroom hotel with associated ancillary bar, restaurant and public area, casino and basement carpark. The scheme aimed to revitalise a 1960’s structure to provide high class office space in a prime city centre location, as well as new leisure and retail opportunities.
Hotel Air Quality Assessment
The site was located within an Air Quality Management Area, which had been identified due to high pollution levels as a result of traffic exhaust emissions. Concerns had therefore been raised in regards the potential exposure of new occupants of the development to poor air quality, as well as any impacts the proposals may cause on nearby receptors.
During the construction of the new building there is the potential for any dust released from the various activities on site to cause health effects to people nearby, as well as nuisance due to deposition on cars, windows and other surfaces. These impacts were assessed using the Institute of Air Quality Management document ‘Guidance on the Assessment of Dust from Demolition and Construction’. A number of control measures were identified to cut down emissions from the site and the analysis concluded that residual effects would not be significant.
The likelihood of new occupants of the development being exposed to unacceptable pollution levels was assessed based on local air quality monitoring results, traffic flows on roads near the site and identification of any other major emission sources. This indicated that exceedences of the Air Quality Objectives were unlikely at the development and it was therefore safe for users of the proposed facilities.
Potential impacts associated with new traffic emissions were assessed using the screening criteria contained within the Institute of Air Quality Management document ‘Land-Use Planning & Development Control: Planning for Air Quality‘. This allowed effects to be defined as negligible due to the small amount of parking at the site, providing a cost effective solution for the client and limiting the amount of detailed assessment required for the project.