Air Quality Assessments
Air Quality Management

Air Quality Assessments are often requested in support of planning applications.  They provide consideration of whether sites are suitable for the proposed use, or determine whether a development will cause significant air quality impacts at sensitive locations. As detailed within the National Planning Policy Framework, air quality issues can be a material planning consideration and have led to the refusal of planning consent.

Miller Goodall Limited has a proven track record of

·Preparing high-quality reports in support of planning applications

·Working with multi-disciplinary teams to prepare the air quality chapters of full Environmental Statements

·Providing expert witness support for Public Inquiries and Hearings

Recent clients include Gladman Developments Ltd, Seddon Homes, Peel Holdings and many others.

Our Service

We know that you want an air quality assessment that is accepted by the Local Authority first time and minimises your input as far as possible.We always work with local authorities to inform our air quality assessments agreeing as much of the methodology to be used as possible right at the beginning of the project.This way we ensure that delays in the planning process are minimised and that resources are targeted in the areas needed.

Joined up working: Air Quality and Noise

Air quality assessments are usually needed because development sites are located close to busy roads or existing residential properties.This often means that the site is also affected by noise or may have an impact on noise levels in the area and that a noise assessment is necessary.Many of our clients ask us to complete noise and air quality assessments on the same site.  This enables mitigation measures for noise and air quality, which are often similar in nature, to be considered together, saving time and money and streamlining the whole process.

Air quality assessments usually include:

·Gathering a range of information about existing levels of air pollution at the development site

·Air pollution modelling of the effect of the road transport associated with the development on local air quality

·Assessment of the impact of the development on air pollution levels

·Mitigation schemes (where necessary)

Other considerations may also include

·Dust assessments

·Odour assessments

Air Pollution Modelling

We have inhouse modelling capabilities including Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling System (ADMS) Roads which is used for detailed air pollution modelling of transport related sources and Design Manual Roads and Bridges (DMRB) model which is a simpler screening tool. We also have the expertise to use ADMS 4 to assess industrial impacts.

It is not always necessary to carry out detailed air pollution modelling of a development, particularly where the development itself is unlikely to have any significant effect on local air quality, for example if there is no car parking associated with a scheme. For these types of site we have been successful in the submission of simpler and more cost effective reports which focus on the existing levels of air pollution around the project site and the mitigation, if any, necessary to allow the development to proceed.


Emissions of fugitive dusts can arise from a wide variety of operations including construction works, waste handling, quarrying and mineral extraction.Often a dust assessment and a plan for mitigation are required as part of the planning application process.Alternatively, planning conditions may require a dust management plan or Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) describing dust control measures to be agreed and implemented.

MGES can advise on the potential impacts of dust and on appropriate mitigation.

Dust assessments are often semi-quantitative, i.e. based on locations and distances of sensitive receptors, because accurate emissions cannot be quantified. Through the development and implementation of a dust management plan or CEMP, emissions of dust can usually be effectively controlled and mitigated, allowing the development to proceed without issues arising.


Some developments are likely to generate odours and Local Authorities will look to protect residents from any significant adverse impact on amenity. In addition, it is far more effective to address odour at the design and planning stage of a project than to take retrospective action. For these reasons, an odour assessment may be required by Local Planning Authorities in relation to planning applications or as part of the requirements of a planning permission.

Fortunately odour can frequently be dealt with by the careful selection and implementation of odour control systems and management plans.MGES also has considerable experience in providing support in relation to odour impact assessments for smallscale commercial developments such as hot food takeaways, cafes and restaurants.In these cases a straight forward riskbased approach is usually sufficient and mitigation, if necessary, can include suggestions in relation to odour abatement systems and an odour management plan with contingency plans for unforeseen circumstances.

We use national guidance to inform our work and have extensive experience in this area.Thus we can provide an independent, robust and cost effective odour assessment service.

Expert Witness Service

MGES is also experienced at providing expert advice on air quality in relation to planning applications.Expert evidence has been provided at Planning Inquiries for developers and their agents on a range of issues including residential schemes, commercial and industrial projects.For more information on our expertise in this area, visit our Expert Witness page.

Our Experience

Case studies of some of the issues we have been involved with are available below.

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