Have your say on our plans to improve Air Quality

Closed 1 Apr 2024

Opened 19 Feb 2024


We have put together a new draft Air Quality Action Plan that provides the actions we will take to improve air quality in West Northamptonshire.


Reducing air pollution is vitally important to our health and environment. All councils have a duty to monitor local air quality to make sure it meets certain standards; we monitor air quality in several locations across West Northamptonshire. Regular monitoring shows that air quality does not meet UK national government levels in some of our areas, so there is a duty for us to produce an Air Quality Action Plan (or AQAP) which outlines the steps we will take to work towards improving air quality and reducing air pollution, so that it helps to positively affect our health, wellbeing, and the environment.

The draft AQAP replaces existing plans from our former sovereign councils which have produced positive improvements in air quality and builds on them further. Some of the actions producing positive effects include:

  • More effective use of the planning control system to ensure air quality is fully considered, including the successful adoption of a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) on air quality in the South Northamptonshire Area and via Northampton's Low Emission Strategy,
  • Completing road improvement schemes to ease congestion and therefore improve emissions,
  • Delivering public electric vehicle infrastructure and,  
  • Continuing with the statutory Local Air Quality Management (LAQM) process of monitoring and reporting.

Key proposals

This consultation focuses on our commitment to reduce exposure for people and the environment to poor air quality.  As well as our legal duty to review, and in some cases take action in respect of air quality, the following provides a summary of the key areas of the draft AQAP:

  • Transport planning that supports improving air quality,
  • Encouraging active travel for example: walking or cycling,
  • Promotion of low emission vehicles, and providing the infrastructure,
  • Further guidance and controls around planning and building development that supports improving air quality,
  • Helping people to make informed travel, health and lifestyle choices by providing information,
  • Traffic management to reduce congestion in our Air Quality Management Areas in Northampton,
  • Reducing pollution from the Council’s fleet of vehicles, our contractors' vehicles, and other vehicle controls,
  • Education and regulation around burning solid fuels to heat homes,
  • Further regulations around industrial emissions, smoke and dust.

Related Documentation

The full list of proposals can be seen in the draft Air Quality Action Plan, where you can read more about the proposals and view the action plan which gives details on our existing air quality and how we and our partners will work towards air quality improvements. We have also produced a frequently asked questions (FAQ's) document, you may wish to have the documents open whilst you complete the consultation:

Your views are important to us

We want to give residents, businesses, community and voluntary groups, our partners, and other interested groups the opportunity to have their say on the key proposals and on the plan generally. This will help to ensure the plan is appropriate for all our local communities. The consultation also asks for information to help us to map people's understanding of air quality and identify any related health issues so that we can consider this is in the plan and for future work.

How to have your say:

You can tell us your views by completing the online survey using the link at the end of this page, or

Write to us at:

  • Air Quality Action Plan 2024 consultation
  • West Northamptonshire Council
  • The Guildhall 
  • St Giles' Street
  • Northampton
  • NN1 1DE

If you have any queries, comments, or would like to request a paper questionnaire or another format, please email us at EnvironmentalHealth@westnorthants.gov.uk  or telephone 0300 126 7000.

This consultation closes midnight Monday 1 April 2024.

What happens next

Your feedback will be considered before we submit a final draft to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), who oversees air quality plans.

DEFRA will make a decision on the AQAPs suitability before notifying the council if it can be applied or not.

Once in place, the AQAP will be annually reviewed when we publish our Annual Status Report.


  • Consultations
  • Environmental health