Pollution and nuisances

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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.

Air quality management area order

Size: 88.60 KB File format: pdf

Air quality progress report - June 2013

Size: 1.84 MB File format: pdf

Air quality area map

Size: 273.93 KB File format: pdf

Air quality progress report - August 2014

Size: 2.08 MB File format: pdf

Air quality progress report - May 2011

Size: 1.84 MB File format: pdf

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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. 

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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 landWhere 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. 

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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.

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A statutory nuisance is the unacceptable interference with the use and enjoyment of a resident’s property or a matter considered likely to cause injury to health.

Such nuisances are outlined in the Environmental Protection Act 1990

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High hedges

We are not able to negotiate or mediate on your behalf therefore we recommend that you attempt mediation with your neighbours to achieve a resolution. Guidance on how to settle differences in relation to hedges without involving the council is available on the Gov.uk website.

We can only intervene once you have tried and exhausted all reasonable steps to resolve the matter informally. Due to the nature of high hedge investigations there is a £690 service charge to be paid by the complainant, which is payable on submission of the application form.

Before contacting us, please read the following guidance on complaining to a council about high hedges.

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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.  

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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.

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