WIT Press

A Review Of Air Quality Management Areas In Great Britain: Implications For Land-use Planning


Free (open access)







413 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


N. K. Woodfield, J. W. S. Longhurst, C. I. Beattie & D. P. H. Laxen


A review of air quality management areas in Great Britain: implications for land-use planning N.K. Woodfield1, J.W.S. Longhurst1, C.I. Beattie1 & D.P.H. Laxen.2 1Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK. 2Air Quality Consultants Ltd., UK. Abstract With air quality now a clearly recognised material consideration in land use planning processes in GB, the designation of air quality management areas (AQMAs) in over a quarter of local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales is causing local planners to re-evaluate the potential impact of development on local air quality. Traffic emission sources account for over 95% of the AQMAs designated in the UK, with predicted exceedences of the long-term nitrogen dioxide (NO2) air quality objective causing their designation in the main. Designation of an AQMA requires an air quality action plan to reduce exceedences of the air quality objectives, and this will require actions to address traffic flow, generation and overall traffic movements in our rural and urban areas alike. Local authorities, through their air quality action plans and strategies, and more importantly their local transport plans and local development plans will need to identify methods for ensuring air pollutant concentrations do not deteriorate further in areas where the public is exposed. Locations designated as AQMAs therefore provide the starting point for identifying specific areas where planning processes should be focused on improving local air quality. This paper examines how the various spatial shapes ansd scales of AQMA designations may affect land-use planning processes, and how the scientific assessment process undertaken to determine AQMA locations may conflict with, or assist in informing the strategic and development control planning processes operating within local government in GB.