Air quality has a big effect on human health, due to effects on the natural and man-made environments and the climate.

Under the Environment Act 1995, Local Authorities must undertake an annual review and assessment of air quality within their geographical areas. The Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) produce guidance to the Local authority and further information on the tools and data used in the assessment can be found at Local Air Quality Management Website

The National Air Quality Strategy - published in 1997 - outlined recommended maximum levels of eight pollutants.

  • Benzene
  • 1,3 Butadiene
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Sulphur Dioxide
  • Lead
  • Particulates
  • Nitrogen Dioxide
  • Ozone

The maximum levels have been devised by the Expert Panel on Air Quality Standards (EPAQS) based on medical and scientific evidence.

You can view realtime updates on the air quality in the borough here

What is our role?

The Council has to assess the present and future air quality of their area in relation to the requirements of the National Air Quality Strategy - and identify the main sources of the pollutants affecting air quality. The Council have a series of Passive Diffusion tubes located across the Borough to identify local air quality levels of Nitrogen oxides NOx, the most common pollutant from vehicle emissions

The National Air Quality Strategy sets out three stages of review and assessment for councils to follow.

Stage One

Involves a simple analysis of each pollutant. If significant quantities of one or more of the pollutants are found stage two is put into action.

Stage Two

A more detailed analysis is carried out using existing data in order to estimate maximum concentrations of air pollution within the district. An assessment regarding the issue of attainment of the objectives is also carried out. If it is unlikely that the required levels will be met stage three is put into place.

Stage Three

Involves a detailed study of specific locations possibly resulting in the area becoming an Air Quality Management Area which involves a 12-month assessment to establish exact sources and the extent to which the national objectives will be overreached.

Air Quality Management Areas

There are currently no AQMA’s in the Borough.

Annual review and assessment reports

The current and historical, Review and Assessment reports are available below.

The DEFRA response to the Reports is now also available to be viewed below and the instructions on the next cause of action to be undertaken by the Council.


Last updated: Monday, 17 July 2023 9:22 am