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As a Local Authority we have a number of direct legislative and regulatory controls that we can use to tackle poor air quality. These cover a number of service areas including: Environmental Health/ Regulatory Services, Public Health, Planning, Parking, Licencing and Highways.

We have an effective and responsive Pollution Team that deals with complaints and takes action to tackle local air pollution from contaminants including smoke, dust, fumes and other emissions.

Some industrial processes also contribute to air pollution. We have a statutory duty to regulate emissions to air from some industrial processes in accordance with the Environmental Permitting Regulations.

Anti-idling is a priority action for us. Not only does it directly tackle polluting vehicles, it helps to raise awareness and engages directly with people on the subject of air quality.

The regulation of construction is a priority area. As well as taking a lead in tackling emissions from construction plants across London, we have planning powers that can be used to make a significant contribution to the air quality agenda.

There are also a number of actions specific to our borough, around food vehicle emissions, burning in allotments, bonfires and wood burning appliances.

Summary of actions

  • Anti-idling is a priority action for the borough and we will work hard within given resources to ensure that this problem is addressed
  • We receive regular complaints and concerns from residents about bonfires in the borough. We have banned bonfires on all borough allotments and will consider restricting bonfires further throughout the borough. We will take swift enforcement action against unnecessary burning in the borough such as builder’s bonfires
  • The impact of burning unauthorised fuels and the use of wood burning appliances is becoming more of an issue and we will lobby Government for additional powers to control this activity
  • Demolition and construction activities can be a significant contributor to poor air quality. We will ensure that sites are regulated in accordance with the Mayor of London’s Non Road Mobile Machinery (NRMM) standards where this is applicable. This project is currently being delivered throughout London by our joint regulatory service
  • We have a number of complaints in the borough about food and ice-cream vans that contribute to pollution when servicing certain areas. We will seek to restrict diesel emissions when serving ice cream and require all non-itinerant food vans with licensed pitches to plug into an electrical source. We will work with our Licensing Team to introduce conditions at annual license renewal that will provide the above controls to tackle this idling
  • We will actively campaign and participate in the call for a Clean Air Policy that is fit for the future
  • Richmond will upgrade its own fleet and that of our suppliers to the highest Euro Standards

Useful resources

The UK Government’s Air Quality Strategy outlines the priorities for tackling air pollution on a National scale to provide context for how we approach it at a local level.

Our Engine Idling page details what Idling is, why you should avoid doing it and what we are doing to prevent it.

Idling Action is a London-wide programme that Richmond is part of. It raises awareness of why idling is bad for air quality and therefore human health.

Our Smoke control and bonfires page explains how to confirm to the regulations around chimney smoke and bonfires.

A NRMM practical guide (pdf) by the GLA which contains guidance on the Non-Road Mobile Machinery processes and procedures that should be in place on all relevant development sites.

The Mayor of London’s NRMM website provides details and a map of the new low emissions Non-Road Mobile Machinery zones and the staged standards that need to be met.

Progress matrix
Action Current status Timeframe Target Comments

Anti-idling is a priority action for the borough and we will be working tirelessly within given resources to ensure that this is tackled

In progress Ongoing Interventions with drivers, number of signage Paused during COVID-19. Limited actions resumed Autumn 2020

Burning in the borough: We receive regular complaints and concerns from residents about bonfires. We have banned bonfires on all borough allotments and will consider restricting bonfires further. We will take swift enforcement action against unnecessary burning in the borough such as builder's bonfires

In progress Ongoing N/A Number of bonfire complaints soared during lockdown

The impact of burning unauthorised fuel and the use of wood burning appliances is becoming more of an issue and we will lobby Government for additional powers to control this activity. We will take action to address any complaint regarding unauthorised use

In progress Ongoing N/A All reported cases investigated and enforced

Delivering Cleaner Construction: demolition and construction can have a significant impact on local air quality. We will ensure that sites are regulated in accordance with the Mayor of London’s Non Road Mobile Machinery (NRMM) LEZ where this is applicable. This project is currently being delivered throughout London by our joint regulatory service

In progress Ongoing

Conditions imposed on 100% and compliance rates for NRMM equipment in the borough

Regulations updated September 2020. All major sites visited and requirements enforced by NRMM team

Licensing and idling: We have a problem in the borough with food and ice-cream vans that contribute to pollution when servicing certain areas. We will seek to ban diesel emissions when serving ice cream and require all non-itinerant food vans with licensed pitches to plug into an electrical source. We will work with Licensing to introduce conditions at annual license renewal that provide the above controls to tackle this idling

In progress Ongoing Review of Policy April 2021 and Power Points installed New Lead Licensing Officer in post by Autumn 2020 - need to take issue to Licensing Committee

Better legislation: We will actively campaign and participate in the call for a new Clean Air Bill that is fit for the future

In progress Ongoing N/A  

Richmond will upgrade its own fleet and that of our suppliers to the highest Euro Standards

In progress 2024 All fleet to be latest Euro standard  

Updated: 23 December 2020