REC Delivers Air Quality and Land Use Planning Seminar to RTPI NW

REC provided a breakfast seminar to members of the Royal Town & Planning Institute North West on 11th October at the offices of Eversheds in Manchester. The event – attended by planners, local authorities, Transport for Greater Manchester and developers – focused on key air quality considerations in relation to planning, and REC’s view on how changes in national and regional strategy could impact upon land use planning in the North West. It also explored the increasing emergence of sensitive ecological receptors as a key consideration in air quality and planning matters, and included commentary from RTPI on the Government’s proposed Clean Air Strategy.

“We were delighted to discuss this important topic with planners from RTPI NW last week” said REC’s Head of Air Quality – Conal Kearney. “The Government’s Clean Air Strategy has placed even more emphasis on Air Quality as a key consideration in land use planning. Balancing efforts to improve the North West’s air quality with the need for further development naturally led to an interesting debate” he said.

http://www.rtpi.org.uk/events/events-calendar/2018/october/air-quality-and-land-use-planning-nw/

For further information and details on the presentation and plenary session, please contact REC at 0845676 9303 or info@recltd.co.uk

REC Raises Money for Horizons Plymouth Children’s Sailing Charity

Horizons

REC was delighted to raise a donation for Horizons Plymouth at its recent client networking event.

REC has been operating in Plymouth and the South West for some 20 years and as part of that celebration we held a client event at the famous Plymouth Gin Distillery on 27th September.

We were joined by a number of our clients and by new contacts including the Devon Chamber.

The evening included a raffle for the local charity Horizons Plymouth – a sailing charity for disabled and disadvantaged children in the Plymouth area. The charity provides water-based activities to increase children’s self-confidence and improve their social and practical skills, activities which would otherwise be beyond their means. A member of staff at REC’s Plymouth office has a personal connection with Horizons as their services were utilised by her cousin who has cereal palsy.

In total, REC raised £183 for Horizons which they will use to maintain their after-school sailing clubs.

More information on the event can be found here.

RTPI: England lacks coherent plan to improve air quality

https://www.rtpi.org.uk/briefing-room/news-releases/2018/august/rtpi-england-lacks-coherent-plan-to-improve-air-quality/

The RTPI’s response to the Government’s draft Clean Air Strategy raises concerns that there is insufficient integration between transport planning and sustainable development planning in terms of improving air quality in the UK.

‘Without these links, pressure could be placed on developers to carry the burden of reducing emissions or severely limit the feasibility of transport related mitigation options’ says REC’s Air Quality lead – Conal Kearney. ‘Similarly, the National Planning Policy Framework’s drive for housing development could encourage less expensive and more remote areas applying for planning permission thus increasing pressures on transport planners to provide further sustainable transport measures’.

The RTPI suggests that Scottish policy on the other hand makes a stronger case in linking these transport and development aspects to air quality, thus suggesting that there is some room for improvement in England.

REC will be running a breakfast CPD seminar on ‘Air Quality and Land Use Planning’ to RTPI North West members on 11th October http://www.rtpi.org.uk/events/events-calendar/2018/october/air-quality-and-land-use-planning-nw/ and likewise an Air Quality workshop for planners at RTPI London’s Annual Summit on 28th November https://www.rtpi.org.uk/events/events-calendar/2018/november/rtpi-london-summit-2018-growing-up-in-the-suburbs/ . If you are a town planner and wish to attend either event, please visit the respective event links to sign-up up.

For more information on Air Quality planning in relation to developments in England and Scotland, please contact Conal Kearney on 0845676 9303 or info@recltd.co.uk

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REC Announces new Quality and Environmental Management Certifications

REC is delighted to announce that it has successfully transitioned its Quality and Environmental Management Systems to the newest versions of the respective International Standards Organisation (ISO) standards ahead of the September 2018 industry deadline, namely ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015.

The ISO standards have been reviewed and upgraded to take account of the greater complexity of quality in business in terms of increased customer expectations and access to information, and the need for a greater leadership focus and proactive initiatives to protect the environment.

As part of the ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 transition and certification processes, REC engaged in a rigorous audit of the scope of its business processes and practices.  By achieving this new level of certification we continue to demonstrate our ability and desire to effectively and efficiently provide quality and environmental management while continuously improving our services and our internal processes.  The new certifications will sit alongside our OHAS BS 18001: 2007 certification as part of our Integrated Management System.

These certifications strengthen our commitment to both our customers and to the environment and reflect our on-going commitment to achieving the highest standards in all our business operations.  The new 2015 versions of these Standards place greater emphasis on risk-based thinking and on demonstrable senior management leadership throughout the business.

We would like to take this opportunity to extend our sincere thanks to our clients and suppliers for their continued commitment and support.  REC will always strive to meet the needs and expectation of its clients and to understand the business drivers that are relevant to them.  Our vision is focussed on our clients and we look forward to bringing the business to new heights in the months and years to come.

REC to provide RTPI NW with seminar on Air Quality & Land Use Planning

Image result for rtpi north west

Resource & Environmental Consultants Ltd (REC) is delighted to announce it is delivering a CPD seminar on Air Quality to members of the Royal Town & Planning Institute – North West on 11th October in Manchester.

http://www.rtpi.org.uk/events/events-calendar/2018/october/air-quality-and-land-use-planning-nw/

Air quality is already a material planning consideration and a key consideration in planning applications with assessments required on schemes which may adversely affect local air quality or be significantly affected by existing pollutant levels.

Air quality is also a hot topic politically with DEFRA’s ‘Clean Air Strategy’ and the Mayor for Greater Manchester’s commitment to reducing emissions as part of a wider ‘Green Summit’.

This breakfast seminar will therefore address key Air Quality considerations in relation to planning, and how changes in national and regional air quality strategy may impact upon land use planning in the North West. It will also briefly consider air quality impacts on ecologically sensitive sites and how this might affect planning.

The seminar will be given by Manchester based environmental consultants – Resource & Environmental Consultants Ltd – and introduced and chaired by RTPI NW.

Clean Air Day: Reducing Your Impact

Clean Air Day falls on the longest day of the year today, the summer solstice, which gives us a chance to most appreciate the benefits and wonders of the sun. However human fossil fuel combustion also means that longer days also lead to a greater chance of photochemical smogs – an interaction of pollution and sunlight.

Clean Air Day which offers a chance to think about our own pollution generating activities and how we can reduce this. Can we use public transport more? Can we car share, walk or cycle? Can we reduce our domestic and workplace energy use?

Let’s mark Clean Air Day by doing one action with that will reduce our contribution to air quality.

Clean Air Day: Industry Impact

There may be measures you can take as an individual to reduce your personal contribution to air pollution, but industrial processes also have a significant impact on the air we breathe.

Industrial processes such as the production of cement, the chemical industry, iron and steel and solvents create air pollution. To find out about more please take a look at this infographic provided by cleanairday.org.uk

If you’re concerned about your project or business venture, REC can look at the bigger picture; working with developers to provide advice on offsetting and reducing air quality impact. We are familiar with new proposals and smoothing the path to permitted and sustainable development.

Expertise

If you’d like to know more about how to manage air quality in relation to your scheme or business activity then please contact our resident air quality expert Conal Kearney on ckearney@recltd.co.uk or call us on 0845 676 9303.

Woodburners, stoves and their impact on air quality: An insight from REC

Campfire And TentWith the UK already in breach of EU air quality laws and facing multi-million pound fines by the European Court of Justice, the ambitious Clean Air Strategy sets out to clean up the UK’s polluted air with a series of new measures over the next 25 years.

REC’s Air Quality lead – Conal Kearney – with his local authority air quality planning background – provides some insight into what this means.

 

Why are wood-burning stoves and open fires particularly bad for UK air quality?

The use of open wood fires and stoves has risen in popularity due increasing energy costs and fashions for cosy ‘old world’ home aesthetics. The burning of wood causes pollutant emissions, largely in the form of fine particles or ‘particulates’. The rise of wood burners in the UK’s larger urban areas, where background pollutants are already high has led to concerns that the accumulation of particulates could reach levels harmful to health in terms of respiratory and cardiovascular illness.

 

Is wood burning really contributing to more air pollution?

It has been estimated that domestic wood burners in London contribute up to 9% of particulate matter in the winter. In addition, smoke and odours can cause nuisance to neighbours with local authority officers dealing with an increased number of complaints. REC believes that more research is also required on the impact of wood burners and open fires on indoor air quality and health impacts.

 

Does this mean that we can’t use wood burners anymore?

As part of the new Clean Air Fund, the Government has responded by announcing that all new wood burners should meet certified emissions standards and has recommended that only sufficiently dried wood should be used as fuel. More powers are to be passed to local authorities but this has raised questions on their ability and resources to enforce the suggested measures.

It remains to be seen how effective measures will be in curbing air pollution and indeed this will relate to tackling other air quality challenges such as emissions from by diesel vehicles. Irrespective, it is yet another consideration for proposed development schemes in urban areas and potentially could lead to further permissions such as planning or Environmental Permits being required for larger scale wood combustion plants..

 

If you would like to know more about the details in this article, or need advice on how they might impact your activities, call us on 0845 676 9303 for a free, no obligation 1:1 advice session with a consultant who will be happy to help.

REC Ltd is a leading UK-wide environmental consultancy with extensive experience in air quality advice for planners and developers. We offer advice on the requirements, design and execution of air quality impact assessments. Please email info@recltd.co.uk

Izzy Samphier, expert noise consultant, joins REC Winchester

At REC we are delighted to announce a new addition to our Acoustics team in the South. Izzy Samphier joins REC in our Winchester office from KR Associates.

Izzy has over  5 years’ acoustics experience with particular expertise in BS4142 noise assessments for commercial stores such as supermarkets and retail chains.

Having attended Winchester University and with an acoustics diploma from Southampton University, Izzy is local to the South living in Portsmouth.

Regional Director South – Stuart Phillips said ‘REC is continuing to diversify its services in the South and provide a truly multi-disciplinary offering. Acoustics assessments are a key and growing part of that offer and having Izzy on board further strengthens that’.

Izzy said ‘I’m delighted to join REC. Their professional but commercial approach really appealed to me and one month in I’m really enjoying being part of the Southern team and growing our client base here’

ABP Southampton: REC makes a splash

REC’s southern team joined forces with Associated British Ports Southampton last week, to participate in their Rio Olympic Golds Charity Challenge 2017. ABP is the UK’s leading port operator and their Southampton port is one of the nation’s largest including being the UK’s number one port for cars and cruise.

Helping raise funds for the charity, The Rainbow Centre, the event was hosted at the Lee Valley White Water Centre in London, where teams from REC, ABP Southampton, Raymond Brown Construction, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Terminals and Stride Treglown got together to try their hands at kayaking for the day.

REC Team

Health and safety a top priority, everyone’s day began with a swim test at the former Olympics 2012 site and it was with relief that those who had committed themselves to a day in the rapids could, indeed, swim. The teams then took to the water in pairs, with the main aim to complete the course and not capsize the boats. Although it is questionable as to whether teams spent longer in the water than they did in the kayaks, all teams succeeded and the day was followed by a celebratory BBQ.

 

REC’s Regional Director, Stuart Philips, said of the event,“ABBoat capsizedP Southampton has taken on a mammoth challenge of re-enacting all 27 Gold Medals won by Team GB at the Rio Olympics and have certainly set their sights high. The team has more than risen to the occasion, and with help from members of the port community along the way, their charity challenge 2017 is a great success story. REC is delighted to contribute to ABP’s cause and raised a total of £400 for the charity through the kayaking event. We hope that ABP continues to inspire others through such events and we look forward to taking part on other Team GB gold medal challenges”.

Marc an Ali RECSean Cooper of ABP Southampton added, “Since beginning the 27 Gold Medals challenge earlier this year, the ABP Southampton team and the port’s community have rallied together to build relationships and raise much needed funds for our charity of the year, The Rainbow Centre. Hitting the ground running  as the lead sponsor of Southampton’s marathon in April which included a 10k race, the ABP team has since gone from strength to strength and gone onto raise almost £1,500; a quarter of our £6,000 target. We look forward to our upcoming challenges and thank everyone who has supported us so far”.

All money raised will go to ABP’s chosen charity, The Rainbow Centre, which provides conductive educational support to children with Cerebral Palsy and adults with a stroke, MS and Parkinson’s, adult Cerebral Palsy, Head Injury and their families. The Rainbow Centre relies upon donations to raise the £66,000 a month to provide its services. To find out more about ABP Southampton’s challenge, go to their charity page here, or to find out more about The Rainbow Centre itself, you can visit its website here.