Air quality

Using our waterways to reduce air pollution.

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The National Planning Policy Framework advises that "planning policies and decisions should sustain and contribute towards compliance with relevant limit values or national objectives for pollutants, taking into account the presence of Air Quality Management Areas and Clean Air Zones, and the cumulative impacts from individual sites in local areas. Opportunities to improve air quality or mitigate impacts should be identified, such as through traffic and travel management, and green infrastructure provision and enhancement. So far as possible these opportunities should be considered at the plan-making stage, to ensure a strategic approach and limit the need for issues to be reconsidered when determining individual applications. Planning decisions should ensure that any new development in Air Quality Management Areas and Clean Air Zones is consistent with the local air quality action plan.".

We highlight the opportunity that the use of our waterways can offer in improving air quality via the use of towpaths and riverside paths for sustainable travel. To address air quality, plans may need to seek improvements to such waterway infrastructure through the planning process to encourage use of these routes. 

Last date edited: 19 November 2020