This large mixed use, residential led development, was proposed for construction on the former Whittingham Hospital site in the village of Goosnargh, Lancashire. The proposed development is in a rural location near Broughton, a small village on the edge of the city of Preston. In Broughton, traffic coming in from the villages would meet traffic coming in via. the A6 at Garstang Road, which was the main route into Preston until October 2017. This resulted in the area being declared an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) by Preston City Council.
As the proposed development was very large, consisting of approximately 750 dwellings and community amenities such as schools, sports facilities and an employment park, there was a potential risk of significant amounts of traffic being generated putting dditional pressure put on the Broughton AQMA should future residents commute into Preston. Preston City Council requires evidence of no detrimental effect on the air quality within existing AQMAs, so changes in traffic were also assessed in this area.
The most challenging issue stemmed from the relatively large distance between the location of the proposed development and the AQMA in Broughton. The opening of the Broughton Bypass, James Towers Way, in October 2017 also coincided with the baseline assessment year, and caused great changes in traffic patterns and behaviour in the Broughton area.
We crafted a detailed model considering traffic queues and the morphology of Garstang Road, i.e. street canyons, as well as the potential changes in air quality for the sensitive receptors, such as the hospital, in the immediate vicinity of the proposed development.
We completed a comprehensive report on the potential air quality impacts of this development, which was then accepted by relevant authorities as a supporting document for the planning application. The outcome of the assessment demonstrated that there will be so significant impact on the air quality around the development, or within existing AQMAs.