Air Quality & Odour:

In London and other urban areas, air quality assessments are now a common requirement for all planning applications for new dwellings, or developments where there will be increased traffic, such as supermarkets, retail parks and sports stadiums.

Air quality assessments will typically have a number of elements:

  1. Site suitability - determine whether the site has low levels of air pollution and determine whether the site is suitable for housing or its intended use;
  2. Determination of mitigation - determine whether measures need to be incorporated into the building design to safeguard future residents or users from the effects of air pollution;
  3. Traffic impact assessment - determine whether the traffic generated by the development will have an impact on the air quality of the area;
  4. Plant emission impact assessment - determine whether emissions from CHP plants, biomass boilers or other plant associated with the development will have an impact on the air quality of the area;
  5. Construction dust assessment - determine whether the development of the site is likely to have a temporary impact on air quality during construction.


Typically, the Local Planning Authority is concerned about Nitrogen Dioxide and Particulates in the air; however we are able to consider other pollutants, such as hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide.

For small developments, air quality monitoring is not normally required and our assessment is based on existing air quality monitoring data from the local authority, as well as air pollution modeling using known background concentrations for the area, as well as traffic flow statistics. We typically use the DMRB modeling technique or for more detailed schemes we can also use dispersion models such as Breeze Roads or ADMS. However, in some instances it is necessary to conduct air quality monitoring, which we are able to conduct, such as nitrogen dioxide diffusion tube surveys and construction dust monitoring.

Hawkins Environmental are specialist consultants in air quality and our staff have worked extensively on projects around the UK and Ireland, especially within the London Boroughs. Our air quality team is fully qualified and experienced in air quality assessment. Our experience extends to air quality assessment for planning applications, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), statutory nuisance and environmental permitting. We have worked extensively on a variety of projects including:

  • Housing Developments
  • Mixed Use Schemes
  • Commercial Developments
  • Waste Facilities
  • Industrial Schemes
  • Sports Stadiums
  • CHP Plants
  • Biomass Boilers
  • Schools
  • Care Homes
  • Road Schemes

If an air quality assessment is required for a development site, it is likely that a noise assessment will also be required. There are very few companies that are able to offer both of these surveys in tandem; therefore there can be considerable cost savings using Hawkins Environmental for both the air quality and noise assessment reports.


Odour Assessments

If a residential or other sensitive development is proposed close to a source of odour, such as a fast-food restaurant or a petrol station, an odour risk assessment may be required to determine whether the new development is compatible with the existing source of odour. We are able to carry out a subjective assessment of the odour based on the Defra Methodology to determine the likelihood of complaints from the odour and suggest ways to mitigate the smell within the proposed development if necessary.

To discuss your requirements and for a free consultation, either call 01256 522332 or email plans of your development and your requirements to