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Air quality information

Find out how we review air quality across the borough, and view our progress reports

Annual Status Report 2023

The Annual Status Report (ASR 2023) is our annual review of air quality across the district.

DEFRA review

The air quality Annual Status Report for 2023 has been appraised and accepted by DEFRA, who review all Local Authority ASRs and provide commentary on the report. They determine if the report follows the statutory guidance and will either approve the report or make recommendations to be followed. An update on Defra’s comments will be provided in the ASR for 2024.

Report findings

The main findings of the ASR 2023 are as follows:

  • No exceedances of the National Air Quality Strategy standards were identified for Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) during 2022.
  • This is the third year running where compliant results have been observed with no exceedances of the NO2 annual mean objective. 
  • Trends in NO2 following the first Covid lock-down year of 2020 showed a marked reduction of around 20% in the annual mean NO2 concentrations.
  • The concern had been the extent of traffic rebound, but annual mean concentrations have subsequently remained relatively constant with results less than 36µg/m3 i.e. less than 10% of the NO2 objective (40µg/m3) for the last 3-years.
  • 142 Planning application were considered for air quality issues, 34 of the most significant are listed in Appendix C
  • Revocation of the AQMAs is recognised as potential option if similar trends are observed over the longer-term. In the meantime and to help provide additional confidence we will continue with the current monitoring regime to further assess changes but also implement the updated AQAP on measures to improve air quality within this period of review and assessment.
  • No exceedances of PM10 objectives level were noted during 2022.
  • No exceedances of the PM2.5 annual mean level were noted during 2022.
  • Monitoring results are not in excess of the air quality objectives outside of the existing AQMA’s and therefore we are not proposing to amend or designate a new AQMA

Planning applications

  • 142 planning applications were considered for air quality issues during 2022
  • The 34 most significant applications are listed in Appendix C
  • The Medworth Energy from Waste application is still under review

Priorities for 2023/24

Our main priorities for 2023/24 are to:

  • continue with the current air quality monitoring programme
  • review and amend the monitoring programme as required
  • continue to implement the current Air Quality Action Plan
  • complete a review and put forward an updated Air Quality Action Plan for adoption during 2023/24
  • continue to work with Norfolk County Council’s public health specialists to develop a strategy aimed at reducing exposure to PM2.5 by targeting the principal (primary) sources that are within this council’s control to support the NAQS. The project may require AQ grant funding
  • continue to work closely with partners to implement King’s Lynn Transport Strategy and assess regeneration and traffic management projects which will assist with reducing traffic related emissions
  • continue to review planning applications
  • work jointly with the Norfolk Countywide Air Quality Group. The group meets regularly following the Covid epidemic

The Director of Public Health at Norfolk County Council has reviewed the report and signed it off.  We are required to work with public health and other specialists.

A copy of the full report can be found here.