Department for Transport (DfT)
- "Major Road Network" (MRN) Proposal for future funding. Government Response (PDF) (April 2019).
- The A2 between Sittingbourne and Faversham is excluded from this wider strategic planning process - for a good reason! Government wants new housing where it will have the most impact on national and regional prosperity - rather than just to put housing in the easiest greenfield sites to meet quotas.
- The current "Existing Strategic Road Network Map" - the road network managed by Highways England (January 2019).
- Traffic counts by DfT in Greenstreet and an explanation of the important idea of "traffic flow" leading to congestion.
- Statistical data set: Road traffic statistics (TRA): Data on road traffic by road and vehicle type, If you love statistics. (Last updated 14th May 2019)
A Report by Highways England (April 2019) confirms that traffic lights on busy roads can make congestion worse across the whole day.
- National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) (PDF) (February 2019): para 181: "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."
Air quality management areas (AQMAs) are areas designated by local authorities because they are not likely to achieve national air quality objectives by the relevant deadlines.
- Planning guidance: letters to chief planning officers. The department regularly writes to chief planning officers of local planning authorities in England, providing guidance about various aspects of the planning system - including NPPF in March 2019.
- Collection: Planning practice guidance. The National Planning Policy Framework and relevant planning practice guidance.A one-stop-shop to find planning guidance set by Central Government. A good place to start.
- Most relevant to AQMA5 is: "Guidance: Air quality". Provides guiding principles on how planning can take account of the impact of new development on air quality.
Department of Environment, Farming and Fisheries (Defra)
- "A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment" Defra/HMG (2018). National strategy document. (151 pages)
- Progress Report - January 2018-March 2019 (as corrected on 21st May 2019 - 75 pages)
- Air UK - DEFRA Agency web pages giving easy access to Key Resources at a National Level. Very Good background resources
Ten most recent additions at a national levels - so it is worth visiting from time to time.
AQMAs are defined and explained - Since December 1997 each local authority in the UK has been carrying out a review and assessment of air quality in their area.
- Air Quality Expert Group (AQEG - Defra) - Non-Exhaust Emissions (NEE) from Road Traffic - 11th July 2019
- The Air Quality: National Air Pollution Control Programme (PDF) - "sets out measures and technical analysis which demonstrate how the legally binding 2020 and 2030 emission reduction commitments (ERCs) for 5 damaging pollutants (nitrogen oxides, ammonia, non-methane volatile organic compounds, particulate matter and sulphur dioxide) can be met across the UK." (Online link - March 2019). Nigel's take on the document.
- "Clean Air Strategy 2019 (PDF)" - Executive Summary - In 2017, the UK government was criticised by the High Court for breaching legal limits in 37 local authority areas and in 2018 London reached its legal annual air pollution limit only one month into the year. In response, the UK government announced its Clean Air Strategy. The full document is 108 pages long.
- Part IV of the Environment Act 1995::Local Air Quality Management - Policy Guidance (PG16) - April 2016. The technical guidance governing local air quality management.
- Air quality statistics (April 2019): An annual update on concentrations of major air pollutants in the UK.
- Guidance: Pollution prevention for businesses. How businesses and organisations can avoid causing pollution from oil and chemical storage, car washing, construction and other activities.
- Guidance: Catchment Sensitive Farming: reduce water and air pollution - Training, advice and grant support for farmers and land managers to reduce water and air pollution from agriculture. Co-authors: Natural England and Environment Agency.
- Defra National Statistics Release: Air quality statistics in the UK 1987 to 2018. STATISTICAL RELEASE: 25 April 2019. - This is the "bigger picture" that is useful for background understanding.
Household Pollution - DEFRA & WHO
- DEFRA - Air Quality Expert Group (AQEG) Report: Biomass Combustion Report - 2017
(80 pages, technical and addresses commercial biomass burners and domestic)
- Inefficient (non-Defra exempt) woodburning stoves send very large quantities of soot (PM2.5) into the home and outdoors
- Non-seasoned (wet/sappy) wood creates inefficient burning at all times (check your supplier or if you cut your own logs, leave it stacked at least a year).
- If you live in an emission-controlled area, 2020 is the year for you to focus on!
- Find an 'Ecodesign' (Defra-exempt) Woodburning Stove - Visit the site of HETA, a not-for-profit organisation working for Defra. Check the box "Defra exempt". The restrictions come to bear in Smoke Control Areas.
- Defra List: Exempt Appliances in England - Defra's own list - for legal certainty.
- World Health Organisation (WHO) Guidelines for indoor air quality: selected pollutants (2010). WHO Document (PDF). It is astonishing just how many products add to the air pollution burden inside our homes. 484 pages
- The state of the environment: soil - June 2019
- The state of the environment: air quality - July 2018
- The state of the environment: water resources - May 2018
- The state of the environment: water quality - February 2018
Briefings and Reports - Houses of Lords and Commons
- "Time for a strategy for the rural economy". Published 27th April 2019 by the Select Committee on the Rural Economy.. The question of house-building can be found in Chapter 5. This Report is a comprehensive analysis of the wide-ranging issues facing our rural communities. (235 pages).
- Commons Library Podcast: Cutting through the haze (27th November, 2018). Possible fines on Government for air pollution.
- House of Commons Library: Briefing document on Brexit and air quality (10th October 2018). Current law and policy. Download PDF document.
- Commons Library Podcast: Clean air in our cities (20th June, 2017). What are the concerns in the country.
Public Health England
- Guidance: Health matters: air pollution (sources, impacts, actions)
Published 14 November 2018 - the clearest description I have seen of the harms we experience from living with air pollution.
Chapter on How air pollution harms health. "The 3 main conditions associated with air pollution are respiratory conditions (such as asthma), cardiovascular disease (CVD), and lung cancer, and there is emerging evidence for associations with dementia, low birth weight and Type 2 diabetes."
- Air pollution: a tool to estimate healthcare costs (A tool to help local authorities estimate the burden of air pollution on the health care system)
Updated 17th October 2018. Here is the result for Swale. You can download the tool to your PC to explore the tool further.
- Guidance: Nitrogen dioxide: health effects of exposure (statement on the evidence of health effects from exposure to nitrogen dioxide and recommendation for further research).
Published 12 March 2015. NOx and other pollutants are better understood but more research was called for. That evidence base is now (2018) firmly established..
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)
- "Air pollution: outdoor air quality and health - Quality standard [QS181]" (Published February 2019). Quality statement 2: Planning applications "This is to help protect local people from the effects of air pollution on their health."
- "Local authorities urged to ensure building developers address air pollution" (28th February 2019). Local authorities are reminded about their duty to avoid adding harmful pollution. Richard Blyth, head of policy and research at the Royal Town Planning Institute puts it:-
"Planners have a leading role in joining up the dots from housing and transport to green spaces and land use management, to ensure communities benefit from a holistic approach to tackling air pollution."
SBC's thinking lacks this wider vision - they prefer to work in their administrative silos.
Office of National Statistics (ONS)
- Data on the emissions generated from fuel sources used by road transport vehicles in the UK, 1990 to 2017 - from UK Environmental Accounts: 2019.
World Health Organisation
- Ambient (outdoor) Air Quality and Health - a key document with links to many others and the latest thinking.
- To dig more deeply into pollution as seen by the WHO, use this link to a very readable and frequently updated page. Full marks for clarity.
- "Breathe Life" - an International Call for Action by individuals, communities and Governments. Good background resources and subject headings on a wider global stage. The nearest "city" for us is Gillingham (or Southend) for use in interactive measurement.
Kent County Council
- KCC Bed-time Reading - the Kent Environment Strategy 2016. The county-wide perspective on Health and Wellbeing. KCC are currently exploring implementation strategies. Download PDF Final KES Document (updated July 2016)
- Kent and Medway Air Quality Monitoring Network (partnered between KCC and Borough Councils). Data is thinly spread and is not designed to identify local exceedances. Seems to be unevenly updated.
Swale Borough Council
- "Bearing Fruits" Borough Plan. Download the PDF version; or go to SBC's "interactive" map (I found this difficult to use).
- Report: "Choices for Housing Growth": Appendix I to PBA Report Item - 8 February 2018
- Review and Recommendations: Swale Local Landscape Designations (LLD) - Final October 2018 (Large PDF/Maps)S
- SBC Bid Document: "A bid to join the Government's Garden Communities Programme - November 2018."
- SBC Website Resources
- "Air Quality Monitoring" - introduction and gateway to other useful pages. SBC concludes that the only pollutants to worry about are PM10 and NOx at Sheerness and Ospringe - can this be true?.
- "Air Quality FAQ" - a superficial list of pollutants includes PM10 but not PM2.5. To learn more about PM2.5 in Swale follow this link.
- Local Air Quality Management Annual Progress Report 2013.
- Local Air Quality Management Annual Progress Report 2014.
- AQMA5 Declaration - 14th January 2016.
- AQMA5 Technical Appraisal justifying AQMA5 to be declared - October 2015.
- Local Air Quality Management Annual Progress Report 2016. Pointed to Community Steering Groups - they discontinued soon after. Suggested "Greening Greenstreet" should be revived.
- SBC Air Quality Annual Status Report (ASR) - 2018. Describes AQMA5 as "marginal" using NOx diffusion tubes. This observation will need to be challenged/verified.
RANDOM LINKS THAT MAY BE OF INTEREST
- DEFRA: How to get the most from your stove or open fire.
- Transport for London: Would your vehicle attract additional charges in the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in London? Enter your registration number...