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Air quality

Our statutory duty

This section outlines our statutory duties with respect to Local Air Quality Monitoring (LAQM).

Review and Assessment

All local authorities have a duty to Review and Assess air quality within their district. The aim of the Review and Assessment is to identify all areas where air quality is or is likely to exceed Air Quality Objectives. The Objectives are summarised in the Air quality Objectives. Guidance is issued by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to enable local authorities to carry out their duties. There are seven airborne pollutants that are regarded as important for local authority air quality management. These are; benzene, 1,3 butadiene, carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particulates (PM10) and sulphur dioxide. These are explained in more depth under "Health Effects"

Through the Review and Assessment process, it has been determined that Chichester is only at risk of exceeding the Objectives for NO2.

Air Quality Objectives (PDF) [108KB]

Air Quality Management Areas (AQMA's)

An AQMA is an area where Air Quality Objectives are being exceeded or are likely to exceed objectives in the relevant year and beyond. The areas are determined through long term monitoring and  computer modelling. Chichester District has two AQMAs.

Declaring an AQMA

The process of declaring an AQMA is long and involves monitoring, statistical modelling and prediction, detailed assessments and further assessments (assessments are discussed in more detail at Risk and Assessment). The boundaries of an AQMA are drawn against geographical features in the area in order to produce a clear and understandable map.

Chichester District Council has declared four AQMAs though two are now 'revoked'. As such there are two extant AQMAs at St Pancras, Chichester and Rumbolds Hill, Midhurst:

AQMA - Rumbolds Hill - Midhurst (PDF) [861KB]

AQMA - St Pancras (PDF) [363KB]

Revoking an AQMA

Once declared, monitoring will continue within the AQMA until such a time where levels are consistently below the Air Quality Objectives, at which time an AQMA could be revoked.

Chichester District Council has revoked a total of two AQMAs at Orchard Street, Chichester and the A27 roundabout at Stockbridge, Chichester:

Revocation Order (PDF) [154KB]

AQMA - Orchard Street (PDF) [372KB]

AQMA - Stockbridge Order (PDF) [1MB]

Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP)

An Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) must be written when an AQMA has been declared. The AQAP provides the mechanism through which CDC states its intentions for working towards meeting the air quality objectives within the AQMAs. CDC's AQAP was adopted in January 2022. You can find information on the current actions and proposals in order to improve air quality in our AQMAs and the district as a whole on our Air Quality Action Plan section under Review and Assessment.

Air quality review and assessment

The Environmental Management team monitors air quality and produces documents reporting monitoring results which are sent to Department of Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). This is part of a process known as Local Air Quality Management (LAQM).

All the air quality reports are available on-line as PDF files or by contacting the Environmental Protection Team at

Air Quality Action Plan

An Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) is a statutory requirement where Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) have been declared. Chichester District Council has declared two remaining AQMAs for parts of St Pancras and Rumbolds Hill in Midhurst. All are declared for failure of a UK government air quality standard for nitrogen dioxide.

The AQAP lists our intended actions to improve air quality through the AQMAs and across the district.

AQAP final report (Word doc) [2MB]

AQAP final consultation report (Word doc) [1MB]

AQAP consultation responses received by email (Word doc) [28KB]

Modelling Report 1 - baseline modelling update (Word doc) [8MB]

Modelling Report 2 - scenario modelling (Word doc) [11MB]

Annual Status Report

An Annual Status Report is a statutory obligation on Chichester District Council. The report provides a summary of Chichester District Council's air quality monitoring data and actions undertaken under Chichester District Council's Air Quality Action Plan. The report is submitted annually to DEFRA for their approval. Note: the reports include data for the year before their date, real-time data is available at the Sussex-air website.

Air Quality Annual Status Report 2023 (Word doc) [6MB]

Air Quality Annual Status Report 2022 (Word doc) [3MB]

Air Quality Annual Status Report 2021 (Word doc) [17MB]

Annual Status Report Summary 2020 (Word doc) [26KB]

Air Quality Annual Status Report 2020 (Word doc) [6MB]

Air Quality Annual Status Report 2019 (Word doc) [3MB]

Air Quality Annual Status Report 2018 (Word doc) [3MB]

Air Quality Annual Status Report 2017 (Word doc) [2MB]

Air quality and planning applications

A planning application may need to be accompanied by an air quality assessment if it is within, borders, has a direct impact on or will itself cause an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA).

All new developments have the potential to affect or be affected by air quality. The Development Management system is integral to improving air quality and air quality is a material consideration in determining applications.

A key objective of Chichester District Council's Local Plan is 'to secure the protection and enhancement of the physical (built and natural) environment of the district'. Environmental Health also has a vital role in making recommendations on planning applications with regard to air quality issues. Within the district there are currently three AQMA's (Stockbridge Roundabout, St Pancras and Orchard Street). These are areas where UK Air Quality Standards and Objectives are not achieved for nitrogen dioxide.

For all planning enquiries relating to air quality issues please contact our Air Quality team.

Air quality - control of industrial emissions

Information can be found on our Environmental permits page.

Forecast alerts

Bureau Veritas (BV) collects all real-time air quality data monitored in the district twice daily.

We are part of the Sussex Air Quality Partnership (SAQP). The SAQP promotes improvements in air quality across Sussex.

The SAQP website, 'Sussex-air' displays the latest air pollution index values from real-time monitors collected by BV. The forecast data is colour coded according to the DEFRA pollution bands (see Related documents for explanation of the banding system). The banding system in dictates health effects ranging from un-noticeable effects to significant effects that can exacerbate respiratory problems.

The SAQP also provides the airAlert service. The service sends free messages to vulnerable people who may be more at risk of respiratory problems during high pollution episodes. Please follow the link to the 'airAlert - Messaging Service' website for details of registration to the service.

Sussex Air Quality Partnership (opens new window)


Our Environmental Protection team monitors air quality across the district.

The data is used to assess whether air quality complies with the UK's air quality objectives and for reporting to DEFRA in statutory documents. These documents are explained and available to download at Review and Assessment.
There are seven pollutants in the National Air Quality Standards and Objectives. Through the review and assessment process, it has been determined that Chichester is only at risk of exceeding the Objectives for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) from transport emissions.

Real Time Monitoring

Real-time or automatic air quality analysers produce high-resolution measurements of continuous data over short averaging periods (15 minutes). Air is sampled on a real-time basis and the data made available online (see link to Sussex-air website).

Diffusion Tube Monitoring

Nitrogen dioxide is also monitored at numerous locations around the city. This is done on a monthly basis using diffusion tubes. The data is not as accurate as the real-time data though the method has the advantage of being simple to deploy, being low-cost and not taking up any room or needing an electricity supply. The data is presented as annual-mean concentrations.
Annual results from the diffusion tube monitoring (along with the real time monitoring results) can be found within our Annual Status Reports located in the Air Quality Review and Assessment section.


Contact us 

For further information and advice email Alternatively, you can phone us on 01243 534598.