Planning: does a renewables trial require an air quality assessment?

According to B&NES’s web site

All major developments inside or adjacent to an AQMA (Air Quality Management Area)

AQMA is a lovely acronym. But trialling a prototype wind array is hardly a “major development”. Kelston Roundhill, with its stiff fresh breezes is hardly, as far as we know, an AQMA. But it would seem a shame not include some sort of air quality statement in our planning application for renewables. Because as well as beauty and noise air quality – pollution and smell – is a major factor for generating off-grid power in a beautiful location.

It’s reliable, but it’s not pretty. The diesel generator smells and sounds bad. But – climate emergency notwithstanding – it does not require planning permission.

As consultant Joanna Peacock of Eight Associatesputs it on the Planning, BIM* & Construction Today  web site:

Air pollution is at crisis levels. According to the Royal College of Physicians, 40,000 deaths a year in the UK are attributable to outdoor air pollution…these pollutants, measured in μg/m3, include particulate matter PM10 and PM2.5, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone and sulphur dioxide. The UK has National Air Quality Objectives (NAQOs) and an EU limit with which to comply, but these are frequently..exceeded. A main factor causing this air pollution is diesel combustion

Minor as it may be and fresh as our air is, the development will have a distinct impact on air quality. By paving the way to eliminate use of the 27KW diesel generator and replacing it with a zero-emissions wind array (potentially supplemented by solar subject to further consent) it will reduce particulate matter PM10 and PM2.5, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone, sulphur dioxide and carbon emissions.

Question: can this positive air quality outcome be constructively conveyed in a planning application? And if so in what format, and with what data?

If you have expertise in this we’d be very glad to hear from you (paging Joanna Peacock and other people who are good at this stuff).

*PS: who knows what BIM means? And who puts an acronym in the title of a journal? The planning process leads to such mysterious places…

About williamheath
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