Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Assessing air quality impacts in planning decisions in England: should we focus more on health?

Peckham, Stephen (2022) Assessing air quality impacts in planning decisions in England: should we focus more on health? Town Planning Review, 93 (1). pp. 61-82. ISSN 0041-0020. E-ISSN 1478-341X. (doi:10.3828/tpr.2021.6) (KAR id:88888)


While there has been an increasing recognition of the health impacts of air pollution assessment of air quality and health impacts is rarely adequately reviewed in planning decisions. Planning decisions are generally based on meeting national annual average air quality targets despite substantial evidence that levels below these are harmful to health and references to population health impacts in the UK National Planning Policy Framework and Environmental Assessment Guidance for planning. This paper reviews the current framework and discusses how air quality has been taken into consideration in some recent planning decisions and legal appeals. Problems in assessing air quality in planning decisions and the increasing evidence on the long and short-term impacts of poor air quality are highlighted. The paper concludes by arguing that health impacts should be more clearly addressed when considering air quality assessment setting out some potential approaches to how this could be incorporated in the planning process.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.3828/tpr.2021.6
Uncontrolled keywords: Air quality, planning, health
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Signature Themes: Food Systems, Natural Resources and Environment
Depositing User: Stephen Peckham
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2021 07:10 UTC
Last Modified: 27 Jan 2023 12:41 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.