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Air Quality within the New Forest

Information on the steps taken by New Forest District Council to manage air quality in the New Forest

Coronavirus: We are following government advice and updates about any impact on our services will be added here as soon as possible:

Clean air is an essential ingredient of a good quality of life. People have a right to expect that the air that they breathe will not harm them. Industry, vehicles and many other sources can increase the levels of pollutants that can cause harm to human health.

The pollutants of interest in the New Forest are mainly sourced from vehicles in towns and villages, and from industry. Along Southampton Water much of the shoreline is influenced by industrial development (there are 13 industrial processes permitted by the Environment Agency) with the landscape being dominated by a petrochemical complex which is one of the largest in Europe.

Air Quality Management Areas

Local Authorities have a duty to review and assess air quality in its district in accordance with Government guidance. Should it be found that Air Quality Objectives are not being, or are unlikely to be met, the Local Authority has to declare an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) and then work to improve local air quality in pursuit of the Air Quality Objectives.

New Forest District Council currently has 1 declared AQMA in Lyndhurst, for the exceedance of the annual mean objective for nitrogen dioxide.

Information on the Lyndhurst AQMA:

adobe icon Air Quality Management Order - Lyndhurst [50kb]

adobe icon Map of Lyndhurst AQMA [131kb]

adobe icon Lyndhurst Action Plan 2008 [2Mb]

adobe icon Lyndhurst Action Plan 2019 [2Mb]

The Lyndhurst Action Plan 2019 is currently presented in draft format while the Council is waiting for comments from DEFRA. Once comments have been received and the Plan amended accordingly the draft status of the Plan will be removed.

Local Authorities also have a duty to produce an annual local air quality report (Annual Status Reports) for the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Since 2016 a summary Air Quality Report has to be made available to the public. The 2018 & 2019 public facing reports can be found below.

adobe icon Annual Status Report 2018 [2Mb]

adobe icon Annual Status Report 2019 [3Mb]

adobe icon Summary Annual Status Report 2019 [863kb]

Are there any smoke control areas in the New Forest?

The Clean Air Act 1993, introduced a wide range of new regulations such as those which control smoke emissions.

There are no smoke control areas within the New Forest; however, care should be taken when choosing a fuel that is suitable for the appliance e.g. seasoned wood, to avoid causing smoke problems to your neighbours.

It is recommended that wood burning stoves (or any appliances burning solid fuel) do not have a cap or cowl on the discharge end of the flue that impedes the upward vertical flow of emissions from the flue as this causes the smoke to flow back down to the ground (down-wash) and increases the likelihood of causing annoyance to your neighbours.

Further information regarding local air quality (FAQ's) can be found here

The air quality monitoring results and reports for the New Forest up to and including 2016 can be found at : air quality and for 2017 onwards can be found at air quality.

 Useful links: Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs.

Updated: 23 Apr 2020
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