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Government Unveils its Clean Air Strategy 2019

Victoria Charlesson

Associate Solicitor Victoria Charlesson, in our Planning & Environmental team, takes a look at the Government's Clean Air Strategy 2019.

On 14 January 2019 the Government published its new Clean Air Strategy 2019 (“Strategy”).  The Strategy provides information as to how the Government intends to reduce all sources of air pollution. The Strategy recognises air pollution as the biggest environmental risk to human health and suggests various measures to improve air quality. These include:

  • Investment of £10 million to improve modelling, data and analytical tools which would allow the Government to form a “more precise picture of current air quality and the impact of policies on it in the future”
  • Setting a new target for the reduction of deposits of radioactive nitrogen and providing guidance on how local authorities can mitigate the damage caused by nitrogen deposits on natural habitats through the planning system
  • Requiring the rail industry to produce recommendations on phasing out diesel-only trains by 2040
  • Provision of a “personal air quality messaging system” which would provide air quality forecasts to the public

Defra also stated that they would work with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government “to strengthen the planning practice guidance on air quality”.  The government is also expected to produce an Environment Bill of which one of the five key areas of focus is improving air quality. The draft Environment Bill was published on the 19 December 2018, with the closing date for comments being 25 January 2019.

With an ever increasing health and social care bill for conditions related to air pollution (expected to reach £5.3 billion by 2035)  it is hoped that the measures proposed to reduce air pollution will have the knock on effect of reducing the associated healthcare bill.

For more information, please contact a member of our Planning and Environmental Law team.

This blog article was produced with support from Kayleigh Chapman.

his article is intended for the use of clients and other interested parties. The information contained in it is believed to be correct at the date of publication, but it is necessarily of a brief and general nature and should not be relied upon as a substitute for specific professional advice.