Redmore Environmental was instructed to undertake an Air Quality Assessment in order to address a planning condition for the change of use of an existing house of multiple occupancy on Station Road, West Drayton, Hillingdon, London, to a Bed and Breakfast. The proposals included the provision of 18 rooms on the first and second floor of the building and a small car park to the rear. The proximity of a petrol filling station to the front of the site required a further benzene emissions assessment to consider impacts at the development.
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. The potential exposure of occupants of the development to poor air quality, and any impacts the proposals may cause within this sensitive area, were therefore considered.
Hillingdon Air Quality Assessment
Using ADMS-Roads, the potential exposure of future site users to unacceptable air quality was investigated. This involved consideration of emissions from the main highway network and the car park to the rear of the development. The results indicated that pollution levels would fall within safe standards across the development. Impacts as a result of vehicles using the car park were not predicted to be significant at any sensitive location in the vicinity of the site.
Using standard industry guidance, the potential for exceedences of the relevant air quality standard for benzene as a result of the petrol filling station were investigated. Several criteria must be considered during the assessment. If these are met, then residential properties within 10m of the petrol filling station may be at risk of elevated benzene concentrations. Although the proposed development was located within 10m of the petrol filling station, the change of use from a house of multiple occupancy into a hotel rather than residential properties meant benzene emissions could be considered insignificant. This is because future occupants will not be exposed for periods long enough to potentially affect health.
The results of assessment indicated that existing air quality conditions at the site were suitable for the proposed end use and the development itself would not cause any significant impacts to local pollution levels. As such, it was recommended that the planning condition be discharged.
If you have a project that requires an Air Quality Assessment to address a planning condition, or wish to understand the level of work required to support a planning application, then get in touch today to discuss how we can help you ensure permission is granted.