Old Marylebone Town Hall in Westminster
London Business School appointed REC’s Air Quality Consultants to undertake an Air Quality Assessment in support of the planning application for the redevelopment of the old Marylebone Town Hall in Westminster for higher education usage.
The proposals included the conversion of the existing Town Hall and Annexe from council offices into a new university facility. The works included refurbishment of the existing buildings, construction of a new link between the two structures and reconstruction of the rear of the Town Hall.
Potential Air Quality Impacts
Due the development location in central London, concerns were raised by Westminster City Council over potential air quality impacts on nearby receptors as a result of construction activities, as well as exposure of future students to poor elevated pollution levels. Additionally, traffic generated by the development and emissions from proposed gas boilers were identified as possibly causing a detrimental effect on air quality in the area. As such, an Air Quality Assessment was required in order to consider site suitability for the proposed end use and assess potential impacts as a result of the development.
A risk assessment was undertaken by REC’s Air Quality Consultants to consider the likelihood of impacts as a result of fugitive dust emissions during construction works. Suitable mitigation measures were subsequently identified to control effects to an acceptable level.
Air Quality Conclusions
A review of baseline air quality was undertaken in order to determine the potential for exposure of future students to elevated pollution levels and consider the requirement for mitigation. This indicated that concentrations across the proposed development site were likely to exceed the relevant air quality standard. As such, mechanical ventilation was specified within the development to ensure clean air for site users.
The Air Quality Assessment also included a qualitative screening assessment using the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges criteria to consider the potential for changes in pollutant concentrations as a result of development traffic and the proposed gas boilers. This indicated impacts would not be significant.
REC’s qualitative Air Quality Assessment resulted in cost savings for the client when compared with a more detailed dispersion modelling assessment.