The Mayor’s Draft Air Quality Strategy was published for consultation in October 2009. He has formulated a policy based on a threshold of 500kWth for biomass plant in London.
It is assumed that biomass installations of less than 500kWth would be too small to warrant the expensive pollution abatement equipment necessary to maintainx air quality.
With this Strategy, the Mayor aims to ensure that measures to improve air quality are embedded in the planning process. This is important for Richmond upon Thames, which has been declared an Air Quality Management Area across the Borough.
In line with the Mayor’s approach, the Borough would discourage all applications for biomass boilers which do not meet these standards for the purposes of air quality protection.
Any biomass installations above the 500kWth threshold will need to be fitted with the best available emission reduction equipment; and the planning application will need to be able to demonstrate the impacts on local air quality, when compared against that of a conventional gas boiler.
Any applications for biomass installations below this threshold should demonstrate no adverse impacts on air quality.
Biomass boilers need to be ‘exempt’ under the Clean Air Act 1993, because the whole Borough has been designated a ‘Smoke Control Area’. However, the exemption process is no longer stringent enough, now that the Borough has now been designated an Air Quality Management Area.
In order to ensure that any biomass installation emissions will be acceptable, we will require more information, as outlined below, from ‘Biomass and Air Quality Information for Developers’ (Environmental Protection UK website).
Applicants will need to submit the information required in the Borough’s ‘Biomass Boiler Information Request Form (MS Word, 986KB)’, which is based on a template from Environmental Protection UK.
Updated: 26 March 2014