Environmental Protection

Air quality

We are required to assess the air quality in Peterborough as part of the Air Quality Standards Regulations 2010 legislation. Air pollutants such as benzene, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, industry emissions and sulphur dioxide are investigated. 

The investigation process is undertaken in a series of stages by using an updating and screening assessment of air quality which are produced every three years. An updating and screening assessment of air quality identifies the pollution levels within Peterborough. In between these publications, progress reports are produced which highlight any changes which might have occurred over the previous year.

Should any pollutants be suspected or shown to be above the objective level, we shall undertake a detailed assessment. If the detailed assessment shows that there is an area which exceeds the relevant air quality objective. then we shall declare an air quality management area.

Currently, we have declared one air quality management area which can be viewed on the attached documents.

Further information on how pollutants are monitored and controlled can be found on the DEFRA website.

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Air Quality Report 20193.2MBpdf
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Smoke control areas

Peterborough has a number of smoke control areas, and it is an offence to emit smoke from a chimney within these areas, however there are exempt appliances and authorised fuels that may be used in these zones. 

Contaminated land

Industrial activity (present or previous) may have had an impact on the condition of land and some contamination may be present.

We are required to inspect to identify contaminated land. Where land is identified, we must make the determination that land is 'contaminated' as defined in the Act and arrange for it to be cleaned up. 

Contaminated land development

The majority of potentially contaminated sites will be dealt with by redevelopment through the planning system. Planning applications are assessed against available information and recommendations are made whether a contaminated land condition is required. There is also liaison with the planning department, developers and their agents to ensure that contaminated land conditions are discharged.

Due to the complex and technical nature there are guidance notes for applications, developers, land owners and consultants provided by Gov.uk website. 


Environmental searches are becoming common place during the process of buying and selling of land and properties.

The introduction of the Part IIA legislation has resulted in an increased awareness amongst mortgage lenders of possible liabilities associated with contaminated land.

Consequently, it has become increasingly common for solicitors and conveyancers to undertake a third party environmental search when arranging the transaction of land or property.

The aim of these searches is to help identify whether a site or property already is, or may in the future, be determined as Statutory Contaminated Land by the Council under Part IIA.

Peterborough City Council has adopted a policy of charging for requests for information with relation to contaminated land. The charge for this service is currently £205.

Please contact pollutioncontrol@peterborough.gov.uk to outline your requirements and the address of the premises for enquiry. You will then be contacted with details of how to make a payment so that your enquiry may be thereupon progressed.

Environment permitting

Some industrial processes could harm the environment or human health unless the emissions from them are controlled. Local authorities are responsible for permitting and controlling specified industrial installations in order to regulate their environmental impact and emissions to air.

Sites that are regulated are issued with an environmental permit which specifies conditions for minimizing and controlling emissions to air. The permit holder has a legal duty to comply with the conditions in their permit and failure to comply can lead to enforcement action. Installations are risk assessed and regular compliance inspections are conducted to ensure compliance with conditions. 

We hold a public register for the sites that we regulate, which is published biannually.

Public Register Part A September 215KBpdf
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Public Register Part B September 2164KBpdf
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Open fires and wood burning stoves

Open fires and wood burning stoves have risen in popularity over recent years. This means we now have more smoke from chimneys which has a negative effect on air quality. This can also contribute to breathing problems such as asthma attacks and contribute to other health conditions.

Find out more in this leaflet produced by Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs which details simple steps for those that use wood burning stoves or open fires to reduce environmental and health impacts.

Further information, entitled “We all breathe the same air”, has been produced by chimney sweeps and provides clear advice on the procedures to follow when lighting a stove to minimise smoke emissions.


Radon is a natural radioactive gas that you can't see, hear, feel or taste. It comes from the minute amounts of uranium that occur naturally in all rocks and soils. Radon is dispersed in the air so levels are generally low.

More information about Radon, including maps of radon levels across the UK, advice and information for home owners, and testing for radiation can be obtained from Public Health England.  

Contact pollution control

If you would like more information or to discuss any advice on issues mentioned within this page, please get in touch by contacting customer services.