Air Quality

Guidelines for local authorities to use when considering the impact of new developments on air quality, and about the air quality management areas in Suffolk.

About Air Quality Management

All local authorities in Suffolk have a duty to monitor and assess air quality in the county and produce annual reports. They must consider what impact a new development will have on the air quality of an area. 

Air quality in Suffolk is generally good but there are nine Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) where pollution caused by road traffic breaches the National Objective Limits. For details of these areas contact the borough or district councils.

Air Quality Management

When assessing planning applications in relation to their potential impact on the local air quality, Suffolk Local Authorities refer to the most recent guidance from Environmental Protection UK (EPUK) and the institute of Air Quality Management (IAQM) to aid their assessments.

This national guidance from EPUK and IAQM is used in preference to the 2011 Suffolk Supplementary Planning Guidance.

Download Land-Use Planning & Development Control: Planning For Air Quality (PDF, 729KB). Latest version is from January 2017, published by EPUK and IAQM.

You can also view the list of guidance documents from IAQM.


Air pollution is a major environmental risk to health, and it is estimated that it contributes to around 40,000 deaths a year nationally.

Anti-idling events are behaviour change campaigns which help reduce localised air pollution caused by motorists who leave their engines running when parked. Local authorities, councillors and volunteers work to educate both motorists and pedestrians.

Our approach is to invite drivers to join our campaign and switch off their engines when parked. When approached in a friendly way, we find that over 80% of drivers switch off when asked, and many pledge to give up the idling habit for good.

Free anti-idling posters, toolkits and information

Download and print:

How local councils are supporting the anti-idling campaign





Clean Air Day

Clean Air Day 2019

For Clean Air Day, the county, district and borough councils in Suffolk are working together to promote an anti-idling campaign outside schools. The events will involve council officers attending schools to inform children of the risks of air pollution and the benefit that switching off engines when parked has, especially near to schools. 

Other work across Suffolk, with the aim of increasing awareness of air pollution amongst school children and considering the actions they can take are Air Quality Ambassadors Days run by East Suffolk Council. These events are attended by approximately 30 children from around 10 different primary schools, and supported by officers from a range of councils. Pupils make pledge of actions they can take and can replicate these activities at their schools on Clean Air Day.

Useful toolkits and information for schools ready for Clean Air Day on October 8 2020

Download and print:

Schools or organisations can sign up to the national Clean Air Day campaign for free at