Air quality assessment

Last Updated: 23 August 2023

To ensure the protection of the environment and public health.

When required

Any development meeting the following criteria will normally be required to complete a full air quality assessment in order to predict the impact of the development on air quality and health:

  • if the development provides 50 or more new parking spaces or more than 25 in an AQMA (Air Quality Management Area) 
  • residential development of more than 80 units or more than 1.0ha site area
  • industrial or commercial development with a floor space over 2,500m2
  • industrial or commercial development with the potential for emissions to air, Use Class B1(1500m2), Use Class B2 (2,500m2) and Use Class B8 (3,000m2)
  • coach or lorry park or distribution warehouse
  • sensitive development (residential, school, healthcare etc.) within an AQMA
  • development that is a prescribed process under the Environmental Permitting Regulations
  • sensitive development close to an existing prescribed process
  • development that will significantly alter flows or speeds on busy roads (of more than 10,000 vehicles per day) or any road in an AQMA
  • development that will lead to a change in traffic volume of 2% of the annual average daily traffic (AADT) or 1% AADT within an AQMA
  • development that will lead to a change in average vehicle speed of 5km per hour or a significant increase in congestion
  • development that would significantly alter the road or rail network (e.g. construction of new road)
  • development that will lead to a change in vehicle split to a greater percentage of heavy duty vehicles (including buses)
  • development that is part of a major phased redevelopment
  • development that may create a street canyon (where the building height on both sides of the road is greater than its width)


Examples of proposed development likely to need an air quality statement:

  • increase in congestion or HGV movements
  • significant amounts of car parking
  • significant dust emissions
  • introduction of sensitive development (dwellings, schools, hospitals) other into an area of poor air quality


Policy DM7 South Lakeland Development Management Policy document; Addressing pollution and contamination impact

For information on whether an air quality statement should be submitted with your planning application please seek pre application planning advice.