Local air quality management

Local air quality management is a statutory process introduced by the Environment Act 1995 (Part IV), which places a legal duty on all local authorities to regularly review both the current and future air quality within their areas.  These reviews must follow Government guidance that sets health based objectives, which are considered to be acceptable given the known effects.  On the whole the air quality across the majority of the borough is good; however there are a number of small areas where, due to traffic, there are concerns about nitrogen dioxide.  

Revocation of seven Air Quality Management Areas

Cheshire East is proposing to revoke seven Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) across the borough, because levels of nitrogen dioxide have been consistently below the national objective.

Revoking the AQMAs does not mean that the Council will not continue in its efforts to further improve air quality, only that the legal basis for maintaining the status of the AQMA no longer exists because air quality has improved and no longer exceeds the legal objective.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) have recommended that the Council revoke the AQMAs and we are seeking your views on whether or not you agree with the Council's proposal. Please email your views to airquality@cheshireeast.gov.uk by 5pm on the 11 December 2020.

More information on the seven AQMAs including the geographical areas that they cover can be found below:

Air Quality Action Plan

The development of an Air Quality Action Plan is a statutory requirement once an Air Quality Management Area has been declared.  Currently Cheshire East has a number of AQMAs , which have all been declared based of levels of nitrogen dioxide due to emissions from vehicles.  The Action Plan must detail the measures which the Council proposes to take in improving air quality in all of the AQMAs .

Air Quality Strategy

There are no statutory requirements for local authorities to have an Air Quality Strategy (AQS), but it is encouraged for those local authorities which have declared an AQMA .  The aim of the  AQS is to support the achievement of how the council will undertake its air quality responsibilities and how it will work both across internal departments and other relevant external partners.  This is important to ensure that air quality is considered as part of all relevant decisions and policies across the council.

Low Emission Strategy

Cheshire East has developed a Low Emission Strategy (LES) to ensure that current emissions are reduced as far as possible and emissions associated with new development are minimised. The LES will provide a package of measures selected on the basis of research and current best practice in emissions management.

The following external links give further advice and information on air quality: