Residential and Commercial Air Quality Assessment, Camberwell in London

22 October 2019

The Challenge

The development is located within the London Borough of Southwark where there have been widespread exceedances of annual mean nitrogen dioxide concentrations in recent years, primarily due to high levels of traffic. Therefore Southwark Council declared the northern half of the borough an Air Quality Management Area and air quality is therefore a key issue for the planning application.

The Solution

The dispersion modelling tool ADMS-Roads was used, in combination with local meteorological data and traffic data to predict nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM10) concentrations at the site. This allowed concentrations at the development site pre and post development to be assessed and appropriate mitigation to be put in place.

The modelling showed that in the pre development scenario, annual mean nitrogen dioxide concentrations were predicted to be just below the objective at locations in the northern half of the site. This was primarily due to the proximity of these sites to the main road and high background concentrations. With development, the change in concentrations was predicted to be negligible due to a low increase in car journeys being assumed.

An air quality neutral assessment was undertaken and found to be compliant with London’s ‘air quality neutral’ guidance for buildings and transport.

The Result

Due to the annual mean nitrogen dioxide concentration objectives being met across the site and a conservative approach taken in the modelling, no specific mitigation was recommended. However, the developer was encouraged to consider other mitigation measures in order to minimise the use of private vehicles by residents and users of the development.

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