Air pollution and quality

traffic on Cheltenham's inner ringroad

Air pollution can be harmful to human health and the environment. Smoke, offensive smells and fumes are common types of air pollution which can affect the quality of everyday life.

Motor vehicles are a major source of air pollution in Cheltenham. Others are space heating and, to a lesser extent, various industrial processes such as printing and coating. 

What we do to protect air quality

We have a responsibility to review and assess air quality periodically and produce reports. We must produce an action plan if we are not likely to meet national targets.

We regulate the most polluting industrial processes in Cheltenham under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and keep a public register of those that are covered by the legislation.

The 1995 Environment Act says that local authorities should review air quality to assess whether national air quality standards and objectives are being met. We carry out regular monitoring of air quality across the borough to identify where air pollution may be a problem. Results are collated into reports which are submitted each year to Government.

If air quality limits are exceeded in an area where people live or work, we must declare this an air quality management area (AQMA) and develop an air quality action plan.

Air quality is a material planning consideration in the development control process. The potential impact on air quality from new development needs to be considered at the earliest stage of the planning application process.

Developers will need to carry out an Air Quality Assessment where their proposed development may affect air quality in the borough.

A good practice guide has been produced to assist developers and planners in understanding the role of air quality in the planning process.