Thanet District Council has been monitoring air pollutants since 1993. In 1997 the Council joined the ‘Kent Air Quality Partnership’ – a county wide initiative to pool information, knowledge and data to aid long term planning for the county and to enable pollution trends to be monitored.
The Council has a legal obligation to undertake periodic reviews and assessments of air quality within its area. The quality of the air is judged against national air quality objectives for specified pollutants. Where necessary, an Action Plan must be implemented with the aim of improving air quality.
Thanet generally has good air quality. However, there are three busy junctions which show levels of nitrogen dioxide above the recommended health objective. In each case the main source of pollution is from road transport. To help tackle the problem the Council decided to declare an urban-wide Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) which encompasses the all exceedence areas; The Square, Birchington, High Street St Lawrence and junction of Boundary Rd / Hereson Rd Ramsgate. The decision to replace the individual AQMAs with one wider urban AQMA was taken to enable a more strategic approach to action planning and effective management and integration of air quality considerations into transport planning and development control. The Air Quality and Planning Technical Guidance 2016 document has been developed to improve air quality across the district, with particular requirements on development within the Urban AQMA. It will encourage emissions reductions to improve the environment and health of the population. In addition it aims to provide consistency as far as is practicable across Thanet in the approach to air quality in the planning regime.
Review and assessment
Air quality monitoring data
Up-to-date information on pollution monitoring for Thanet and Kent may be viewed at KentAir.org.uk
For the Care for KentAir educational resource website please visit carefor.kentair.org.uk