Air quality

Local authorities have a duty to monitor air quality within their areas having regard to national air quality objectives and standards and report this information to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) on an annual basis. There are seven pollutants which we are required to consider under European and UK Law, these include lead, benzene and sulphur dioxide.

Air quality in Wiltshire is predominantly good with the majority of the county having clean, unpolluted air. There are however a small number of locations where the combination of traffic, road layout and geography has resulted in exceedances of the annual average for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and fine particulates (PM10).

All information relating to air quality monitoring in Wiltshire can be found on the Wiltshire Air Quality website.

Community involvement

Community involvement in air quality has been key to producing the Wiltshire Air Quality Action Plan. As part of this process Area Boards with an air quality management area have been tasked through whatever means they feel suitable to produce a plan of actions to help with the improvement of air quality in their area which is community lead. The plans form part of the Wiltshire wide air quality action plan.

The community action plans and projects are continuously evolving; therefore each group has their own page to detail their work.

Air quality and the planning process

The planning process identifies air quality as a material consideration where development takes place and under certain circumstances an Air Quality Assessment may be required as part of the application process. The findings of such assessments are an integral part of planning negotiations and submissions and are reflected in the ultimate decision as to whether development will be permitted and the nature of any air quality conditions or informative associated with it.

Wiltshire Council has produced  supplementary planning guidance (PDF) [6MB] (opens new window) for developers and consultants. This document provides details of policy behind air quality in planning and the expectations of Wiltshire Council, as well as the current requirements for assessments and reporting.