REC was commissioned to undertake an Air Quality Assessment in support of the planning application for a residential development in Maidenhead. The proposals included the provision of 62 dwellings with associated facilities and infrastructure. The site was located in close proximity to the A404(M), a significant source of road vehicle exhaust emissions which had the potential to cause elevated pollutant concentrations across the development. An Air Quality Assessment was therefore required in order to quantify pollution levels at the site and provide considerations of the suitability for residential end-use.
Pollutant levels across the proposed development were predicted by means of dispersion modelling using the software package ADMS-Roads. Results were subsequently verified against air monitoring data obtained from the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.
The dispersion model predictions indicated that annual mean concentrations of the main pollutants associated with road traffic, nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter, are below the relevant air quality standards across the site. As such, the location was considered suitable for residential usage and it was not necessary to include any air quality mitigation within the proposals.
The number of vehicle trips to be generated by future residents was screened against the relevant criteria to determine the potential for associated air quality impacts. This indicated that changes in pollution levels were not likely to be significant and as such further assessment was not required. The staged approach adopted by REC resulted in both time and cost savings for the client when compared with proceeding directly to a detailed assessment.