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Air Quality and Planning

Land-use planning can play a critical role in improving local air quality. At the strategic level, spatial planning can provide for more sustainable transport links between:

  • the home
  • workplace
  • educational
  • retail and
  • leisure facilities
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It can also identify appropriate locations for potentially polluting industrial development. For an individual development proposal, there may be associated emissions from transport or combustion processes providing heat and power.

Many individual developments may be small and have a minimal impact on traffic volumes and local air quality. Cumulatively however, this level of development will inevitably increase road congestion and have an associated impact on air quality.

The impacts of development proposals on air quality must be taken into account. Cornwall Council will seek to ensure that new developments do not exacerbate air quality problems in existing and potential AQMAs, or create new problems elsewhere. 

Cornwall Council will ensure that air quality is considered when assessing development proposals. Particularly in or near AQMAs and where significant doubt arises as to the air quality impact then the precautionary principle should be applied.

Planning Officers routinely seek comments from Neighbourhoods and Public Protection on various planning applications. This is particularly the case for any proposed development which might have an impact on existing air quality within or adjacent to an AQMA or area where concerns about air quality have been raised.

In order to assit with determining whether an air quality assessment is required, and the content of that assessment the following guidance is provided: