Better air quality information for proposed developments in Ipswich

Published29th September 2021

Ipswich Borough Council is being asked to consider adopting a Low Emissions SPD (Supplementary Planning Document) that will make it easier to judge the impact of a new development on air quality in the town. The recommendation would also lessen parking by issuing guidance on the provision of this at new residential developments in central Ipswich. 

Ipswich Borough Council has an Air Quality Action Plan that acknowledges air pollution as a major public health risk ranking alongside cancer, heart disease and obesity. Air Quality Management Areas are in place at locations in the town where the annual mean concentration of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) exceeds the national objective level. The main source of high levels of NO2 is from vehicle emissions.

If adopted, the Low Emissions SPD would explain how the air quality aspects of planning applications will be considered; identify information needed to help us assess their impact on air quality and also identify what mitigation would be needed. Such mitigation can include making it easier to cycle and walk, or require financial contributions to public transport. A maximum level of parking spaces will also be allowed for new residential developments in central Ipswich.

The Council consulted on the proposed new Low Emissions SPD until January this year and the Executive meeting of the Council on 5 October will decide whether to adopt.

Says Cllr Carole Jones, Ipswich Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Planning:

“Adopting this Low Emissions Supplementary Planning Document will ensure new development contributes to improving air quality in Ipswich. We would use this to both make sure new residential developments reduce air pollution in their design and also contribute to lessen traffic pollution.

“However, we know that most town centre traffic actually comes from outside Ipswich and that neighbouring authorities have plans for hundreds of new homes on our border so we need everyone to play their part in improving Ipswich’s air quality.

“Nonetheless, we are determined to make air quality better in our town and this new guidance would be a small but useful addition to our Air Quality Action Plan and the four Air Quality Management Areas that we have implemented.”


Photo credit – Ipswich Borough Council