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Air Quality Assessment, NHS Trust Warwickshire

Ensafe were appointed to undertake an Air Quality Assessment to support a planning application on a brownfield site for a new 469 space multi-storey car park. The car park is required to increase existing car parking capacity currently used by NHS staff, patients, and visitors of the adjacent Warwick Hospital.  

Due to the increased capacity that this new development will bring it was vital for our client to consider the impact not only on human health but also in regard to compliance with relevant regulations. This is due to the fact that exhaust emissions resulting from motor vehicles have harmful and long-lasting effects on both human health and the environment.

The purpose of the air quality assessment was to determine the suitability and assess the potential impacts on air quality as a result of the proposed development. The risk is increased when exhaust emissions occur in closed environments and in environments that cannot be sufficiently ventilated, such as in car parks. The main pollutants of concern as a result of vehicle emissions are nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). Long-term and short-term exposure to elevated concentrations of these pollutants can have adverse health and environmental impacts. Air Quality Assessments are therefore required to determine site suitability, to assess potential impacts of the proposed development, and to comply with the requirements outlined in the planning policy.

Due to the scale of the multi-story car park, there was potential to cause impacts as a result of road vehicle exhaust emissions generated by the scheme at nearby sensitive receptor locations. An air quality assessment was undertaken in accordance with the Environmental Protection UK and Institute of Air Quality Management guidance as well as the Warwick District Council Low Emission Strategy Guidance. The desk-based assessment used existing monitoring data and background information in conjunction with future year predictions and calculated traffic flows from the Proposed Development.

Detailed dispersion modelling of air quality emissions was undertaken at nearby sensitive receptor locations at Warwick Hospital in addition to residential and education locations within Warwick city centre and Air Quality Management Area. The assessment demonstrated that overall air quality impacts were considered to be not significant as a result of the proposed development.

Planning permission was granted early this year by Warwick District Council.

We take great pride in being the chosen supplier for an organisation that has saved many lives and provided great support to thousands across the country throughout the course of the coronavirus pandemic. We look forward to continuing to offer support to NHS trusts across the country.  

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