Ipswich to update planning policy to address air quality

Ipswich borough council is developing new planning guidance to take into account measures that will help to lessen the air quality impact of future developments within the Suffolk town.

The council’s Low Emissions Strategy supplementary planning document (SPD), which is currently being drawn up by council planning officers, will aim to provide ‘consistency’ in the approach to dealing with air quality and planning within the town, the council has said.

Planning guidance being drafted by Ipswich council will take into account the air quality impact of new developments

It is being adopted to provide additional direction on top of planning policies contained within the Ipswich Local Plan, which was adopted in February 2017.

Stakeholders have been asked for views on sustainable design principles to reduce energy use and air pollution, what measures could be taken to promote the use of cleaner vehicles in approving new developments and steps that could be taken to encourage cycling and walking.

‘Consistency’

In a document outlining its aims for the policy, the council noted: “The Low Emissions Strategy SPD will provide consistency in the approach to dealing with air quality and planning in Ipswich.

“Specifically, it will provide guidance on measures that can be implemented to mitigate the potentially harmful impacts of new developments (e.g. in terms of increased vehicles and congestion or heating of homes) considering measures such as the use and types of vehicles, the role of walking, cycling and public transport, boiler types and the role of trees and hedgerows in absorbing pollutants.”

The document is being drafted in advance of the development of an air quality action plan which will be drawn up by the borough later this year.

This will outline measures aimed at reducing emissions in four Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) within Ipswich.