The draft UK air quality plan that campaigners finally dragged out of a reluctant government earlier this month indicates that there will be a sharp increase in zones across England in which targeted action is taken to improve air quality. But where these new zones will be, and how stringent the measures they will implement, is not yet clear.
According to Justine Thornton QC, of 39 Essex Chambers, air quality issues are important for planners. Government guidance points out that local authorities’ planning and air quality functions should be carried out in close co-operation, she points out, and the National Planning Policy Framework requires local authorities to take account of air pollution in local plans and when determining planning applications.
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