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Policy WS/HS: Pollution, health and safety

What will this policy do?

This policy will set out how development should take account of sources of pollution.

Proposed policy direction

We propose that this policy will require that development does not lead to or is subject to significant adverse effects as a result of noise, vibration, odour, and/or light pollution. It will detail how land contamination should be considered, to ensure that the land is suitable for the end use.

Proposals will need to be appropriate for the air quality in the area, but also address their impacts on air quality (including requiring Air Quality Management strategies to be prepared where appropriate).

Policies will apply appropriate protection to and from hazardous installations. Planning applications for the development of hazardous installations/ pipelines and development close to hazardous sites or pipelines will be referred to the Health and Safety Executive and/or the Environment Agency.

Why is this policy needed?

National planning policy requires plans to prevent new and existing development from contributing to, being put at unacceptable risk from, or being adversely affected by, unacceptable levels of soil, air, water or noise pollution or land instability.

Planning policies are also required to address air quality, and seek opportunities to improve air quality or mitigate impacts. As well as considering the impacts of air quality on developments themselves, air quality management plans are secured to require mitigation measures to address the impacts of developments. A particular issue will be seeking to ensure there is no adverse effect on air quality in air quality management areas (AQMA), which are currently in affect in the city centre and part of the A14.

What consultation have we done on this issue?

In the First Conversation we asked you about how we should achieve improvements in air quality. We received a variety of responses, many of which are addressed elsewhere in this consultation.

Issues raised included increases in tree planting, sustainable heating and energy generation, and provision of electric charging points for buses and private cars. You wanted to reduce car use though encouraging sustainable transport, for example through the provision of safe, connected bus routes and cycle infrastructure. Locating homes close to existing development and employment areas and away from existing low air quality areas were suggested. There was support for other options to reduce car use including banning cars in Cambridge, congestion charging, supporting car sharing, reducing car parking in developments and in the city centre and restricting coaches, deliveries (at certain times) from the city centre and HGVs from residential areas. You highlighted the importance of digital infrastructure to enable home working to reduce the need to travel.

You would like us to monitor and set targets in terms of air pollution, potentially using smart technology, and to make the information available publicly. Low emission zones in Air Quality Monitoring Areas were specifically suggested as well as extending clean air zones to residential areas.

What alternatives did we consider?

No Policy – Not considered a reasonable alternative as these are key planning issues that Local Plans need to address and reflect the vision for the plan to create healthy places.

Supporting evidence studies and topic papers

  • : Topic paper 4: Wellbeing and Social Inclusion  

Existing policies in adopted 2018 Local Plans

South Cambridgeshire 2018 

  • Policy SC/9: Lighting Proposals  

  • Policy SC/10: Noise Pollution  

  • Policy SC/11: Contaminated Land    

  • Policy SC/12: Air Quality 

  • Policy SC/13: Hazardous Installations 

  • Policy SC/14: Odour and Other Fugitive Emissions to Air 

Cambridge 2018 

  • Policy 33: Contaminated land 

  • Policy 34: Light pollution control  

  • Policy 35: Protection of human health and quality of life from noise and vibration  

  • Policy 36: Air quality, odour and dust  

  • Policy 38: Hazardous installations 

Tell us what you think

Our consultation for this phase is now closed.