Project: Mixed-use re-development of sought after city space in central London, building 30,000 square feet of new office space.
Location: Gee Street, Central London
Type of Assessment: Air Quality Assessment
The site re-development and new seven storey office block at Gee Street is in an Air Quality Management Area, identified by the London Borough of Islington as experiencing elevated pollutant concentrations. This has the potential to introduce future site users to an area of existing poor air quality. In addition, the proposals had the potential to cause air quality impacts at sensitive locations. These included fugitive dust emissions from proposed construction works and a combination of emissions from the proposed boilers units and traffic generated by the site during its operation. REC, therefore, provided an air quality assessment for the above development to quantify pollutant levels across the site, consider its suitability for the proposed end-use and assess potential impacts as a result of the development.
Potential air quality impacts from fugitive dust emissions during the construction phase were assessed as a result of earthworks, construction and track-out activities.
Dispersion modelling was undertaken to predict pollutant concentrations across the proposed site, as a result of the combination of emissions from the local highway network and the proposed boilers units.
To calculate the impacts of the proposals on air quality in the surrounding area, additional dispersion modelling was undertaken to quantify pollutant levels at nearby sensitive receptors with and without the proposals in place.
The London Plan states that new developments must be considered Air Quality Neutral. Pollutant emissions associated with energy consumption within the development and traffic generated by the development were compared to relevant benchmarks.
Industry standard mitigation measures were recommended during the construction phase to reduce potential impacts to an acceptable level.
The dispersion modelling indicated that concentrations of pollutants relevant for exposure to offices were below the relevant air quality standards and, as such, the location is considered suitable for the proposed end-use without the inclusion of mitigation methods.
Transport and energy emissions from the proposals were below the benchmarks and as such, the development was Air Quality Neutral, in accordance with the London Plan. Overall, air quality issues were not considered a constraint to planning consent for the proposed development.