Air Quality Assessment for Land at Grove Farm, Brentwood
Case study

Air Quality Assessment for Land at Grove Farm, Brentwood

We are delighted to have worked alongside Savills on behalf of Mr Leslie Jones to provide an Air Quality Assessment to support the very complex appeal against London Borough of Havering, in relation to the industrial uses which currently operate at the Land at Grove Farm, Brook Street, Brentwood.

Transport Planning
Infrastructure Design
Environmental Assessment

Details

The appeal was submitted in 2022 against 21 enforcement notices issued by the London Borough of Havering for various alleged breaches of planning control at Grove Farm.

Due to the site already being fully operational with a mixture of open-air materials, storage and parking, we were commissioned to undertake a retrospective Air Quality Assessment (AQA) in order to quantify any likely pollution impacts upon the surrounding area or local sensitive receptors as a result of the operational activities of the site.

The AQA also included an Air Quality Neutral Assessment (AQNA) in line with the London Plan requirements, which compares the site’s transport and building emissions, where relevant, to a benchmark defined by the Use Class and Floor Area.

Identified Challenges

  • The site is located with the Havering Air Quality Management Area (AQMA).
  • The site is also located within the Green Belt and more importantly, had been fully operational, albeit without planning permission, for various years.
  • Multiple appeals had already been submitted, unsuccessfully, against the 21 enforcement notices targeting the large industrial development without planning permission, operating within Green Belt.

The Findings of the Air Quality Assessment

The AQA identified that:

  • The majority of the closest monitoring locations were below the national annual mean objective for Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) and Particulate Matter (PM10 and PM5) for the assessment year (2019).
  • The operational activities generated a significant volume of daily vehicle movements (Lights and Heavies) which met the EPUK & IAQM criteria for requiring a detailed assessment.
  • An Air Quality Neutral Assessment (AQNA) was also required to compare the operational transport emissions with the relevant benchmarks and establish whether the site was considered to be Air Quality Neutral.

The AQA concluded that:

  • Following the completion of the detailed dispersion modelling, using ADMS-Roads, the traffic related air quality impacts associated with the operational activities were considered to be of imperceptible magnitude and negligible significance.
  • The Air Quality Neutral Assessment (AQNA) confirmed that the predicted Total Transport Emissions, also associated with the operational activities of the site, were expected to be lower than the total benchmarked transport emissions. Therefore, the site was considered to be Air Quality Neutral and mitigation measures were not required.
  • Overall, the site’s current operational activities were found to be very unlikely to raise any significant adverse impacts upon the health and/or quality of life of any existing neighbours, as a result of any anticipated changes to air quality.

Resolution

We are pleased to announce that on 23rd January 2023 the planning inspector has published his decision allowing all of the development to remain in place. The consent was granted on the basis of the economic benefits arising from the development, outweighing the usual conflicts/impacts upon the Green Belt.

If your project requires an Air Quality Assessment or if you are interested in finding out how we can help you overcome the various Air Quality challenges most sites face throughout the planning process, please contact Lucinda Pestana lpestana@mayerbrown.co.uk.


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