Low Emissions Supplementary Planning Document

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Air quality is a key planning consideration. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) expects planning policies and decisions to help improve air quality in their local areas. 

Ipswich has four declared Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) at locations where the annual average level of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) exceeds the national objectives. In August 2021, a fifth was revoked and changes made to the extent of two of the remaining AQMAs. High levels of nitrogen dioxide are largely caused by vehicle exhaust fumes. The Council’s Air Quality Action Plan 2019-2024 acknowledges air pollution as a major public health risk.

The Ipswich Local Plan requires development to consider air quality in two ways: 

  1. Does the development proposed, on its own or cumulatively, impact negatively on air quality in Ipswich; and
  2. How can development near or in Air Quality Management Areas ensure residents will not be exposed to unacceptably high air pollution levels.

In addition, the Local Plan states that maximum parking standards will be adopted ‘for residential development within the IP-One Area, which has frequent and extensive public transport networks, and easy access to a wide range of employment, shopping, and other facilities.’ The IP-One area of central Ipswich is shown in this map.  

The Scope and Purpose of the Low Emissions SPD 

The Low Emissions SPD supports the implementation of Council’s Adopted Local Plan (2017) policies by:

  • explaining how the air quality aspects of planning applications will be considered;
  • identifying the information applicants would need to submit with an application, to enable the Council to assess impacts on air quality;
  • prescribing the types of mitigation measures that will be required where impacts are identified; and
  • providing guidance on appropriate maximum levels of car parking to be provided for developments in the IP-One area of central Ipswich, in order to support sustainable travel choices and promote a modal shift.

Public Consultation Undertaken During the Preparation of the Low Emissions SPD 

The Low Emissions SPD now incorporates the Parking Guidance for the IP-One Area SPD. The Council decided through the Ipswich Local Development Scheme brought into effect in 2019 to combine the two SPDs, in order to comprehensively address air quality issues.

In July 2015, and again in June 2017, the Council published a Call for Ideas for the Low Emissions Strategy SPD and the IP-One Parking Standards SPD. The consultations were carried out under Regulation 12 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012 (as amended).  A period of six weeks was allowed for comments to be submitted, between 6 July and 17 August 2015 and 14 June and 26 July 2017.

Public consultation on the full draft Low Emissions SPD ran for 8 weeks from 18 November 2020 to 13 January 2021. 

The comments received during all consultation stages are reported in the Summary of Representations and IBC Responses, together with the Council’s responses indicating how points raised have been addressed through the adopted Low Emissions SPD.

The Low Emissions SPD was formally adopted by Ipswich Borough Council on 17th November 2021 at a meeting of Full Council, in accordance with Section 23 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (as amended).

Inspection of the Adoption Documents

The Low Emissions SPD and the documents that support it are available to view below.

If you are unable to access the information via the website, please contact the Planning Policy team on 01473 432019 to discuss alternative arrangements.

If you are preparing a planning application and need further guidance please visit our 'Low Emissions SPD - Practical Guidance for Applicants and Agents' page. 

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