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Local Authorities

Welcome to Uttlesford

Uttlesford is a predominately rural area with a population of around 80,000 in over 50 villages and hamlets, but includes the larger market towns of Saffron Walden and Great Dunmow, the smaller towns of Stansted Mountfitchet and Thaxted, and new developing settlements in Felsted, Takeley and Canfield.

With the M11, A120 and Stansted Airport within the District in not surprising that the principle sources of air pollution are transport related with nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and fine particles (known as PM10) being the main concerns. The Council has been monitoring levels of air quality for over 20 years and has two permanent continuous monitoring stations in Saffron Walden and Takeley, and mobile equipment which is currently positioned close to the M11 and Stansted Airport. We also have a network of passive diffusion tubes which provide a general indicator of pollution levels averaged out over monthly periods.

Although pollution levels can be quite high very close to the motorway and the airport it is in those areas where people live near to narrow congested streets, such as in the historic centre of Saffron Walden, where air pollution from nitrogen dioxide is of most concern. One large area in the centre of the town have been declared air quality management areas (AQMAs) because nitrogen dioxide levels close to people’s homes are at levels in excess of the government annual average standard for this pollutant. This means that particular attention has to be paid to the air quality impact of potential developments in and around these areas and also that an action plan has been developed in partnership with the County Council to look at ways of reducing congestion and improving traffic flows.

In common with many other market towns with growing populations, Saffron Walden suffers from traffic congestion and associated air pollution, representing a serious public health challenge.

The Council last produced an Air Quality Action Plan in 2009 to tackle poor air quality. Subsequently, a larger air quality management area has been set up to cover the central area of the town.

A further draft Action Plan has been developed outlining measures aimed at improving air quality in Saffron Walden over the life of the plan. The Council would like to give all those interested the opportunity to contribute to the Action Plan. The results from this survey will be combined with other consultation work and will help to finalise an Action Plan for adoption later in 2016.

The Uttlesford District Council Air Quality Consultation is now closed. a report on the consultation will be available shortly.

Details of the reports on air quality and monitoring data can be found by using the tabs on this page.        

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