Wandsworth council has indicated that air pollution limits around the Nine Elms area near Battersea were breached on fewer occasions in 2017 than in 2016.
The council has credited work being done in partnership with construction contractors in the area – which is currently undergoing major redevelopment work – as having contributed to the improvement.
Airborne particulate matter is made up of a collection of solid and/or liquid materials of various sizes. Emissions of dust can also generate high concentrations of particulate matter close to quarries and construction sites.
EU legal limits set a restriction on the number of times that it is permissible for a single monitoring site to record concentrations of PM10 in excess of 50?g/m3, to no more than 35 occasions per year.
According to the council, in 2017 levels of particles (PM10) in Nine Elms breached the daily mean EU limit 13 times. This compares to 43 times in 2016. To date, no exceedances of the 50?g/m3 limit value have been recorded in 2018.
Commenting on the data, the council’s environment spokesman Councillor Jonathan Cook, said: “This news from Nine Elms is very welcome, especially so soon after we learnt that our efforts in Putney have also paid off.
“The regeneration of the borough is excellent news for jobs, homes and other opportunities for our residents, but we know large construction schemes can have an adverse affect on our air. That’s why we will continue to make sure developers are sticking to the environmental conditions we imposed when we granted planning permission, and why will we continue to work with them, the community and other partners to keep on top of this issue.“
Nine Elms is the site of one of London’s most intensive redevelopment projects and currently has around a dozen live development sites and two of the city’s biggest tunnelling projects for the Northern Line Extension and Thames Tideway Tunnel. The new US embassy building is also being built at the site.
In order to mitigate any potential air quality impact resulting from the building activities the council has sought to implement a number of measures at the site including monitoring and advise for developers on dust suppression and reducing the use of diesel generators.
According to the council, every development site is regularly visited by the council’s air quality and planning enforcement teams to ensure best practice pollution control procedures are in operation.
Transport for London (TfL) also has a dedicated construction logistics coordinator for Nine Elms, paid for by the development sites, who oversees on-street and other infrastructure works to ensure utility companies are controlling dust levels and minimising impacts.
An area-wide construction logistics programme ensures HGVs and other vehicles are coordinated, timed and marshalled to prevent major traffic peaks and to reduce the overall number of vehicles on the road, the council says.
The Northern Line Extension excavation site is using river barges to take spoil away from the area and the same approach will be adopted on the Tideway project once tunnelling work begin. This approach is cutting tens of thousands of lorry journeys from the local road network, according to Wandsworth.