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Air Quality

The Council has a duty under the Environment Act 1995 to review and assess the air quality in its area. The air quality in the West Devon is generally excellent.

The Council monitors air quality in key locations across the Borough and at this time has not determined any location as being an Air Quality Management Area.

About Air Quality Management Areas

Air Quality management areas are declared where the measured levels of pollution breach national objective limits for certain pollutants. The main pollutant of concern and the focus of the Council's monitoring is Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2). There are many causes for elevated levels of NO2, but the main source would be associated with road transport.

A Clean Air Strategy for West Devon

Over the last few years the Council has been working with partner agencies to develop a clean air strategy. The aim of this document is to protect the air quality within the West Devon area. 

Air Quality Monitoring and Reporting

We monitor, review and assess air quality on a monthly basis using a network of diffusion tubes, throughout the district. These tubes are primarily located within key population areas to monitor the current levels of Nitrogen Dioxide.

On an annual basis the Council has to produce an Annual Status Report (previously Updating and Screening Assessments and Progress Reports). These reports contain details of the monitoring we have undertaken and the steps taken so far to improve the air quality in the area. The previous 2 years of reports can be downloaded on the right-hand side of this page.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we were unable to produce a report for 2020. The report published in 2021 contains information and data from 2020 and 2021.

For more information please email us at

Air Quality in Planning

It is recognised by the Government in the National Planning Policy Framework that development can have the potential to adversely impact on air quality. As a Council we will only accept development that off-sets its impact to an acceptable level and protects future residents from exposure to poor air quality.

The Council will expect certain planning applications to be accompanied by an air quality assessment. These assessments should be carried out in accordance with guidance from the Institute of Air Quality Management. The Council's validation checklist has more details on when an air quality assessment will be required can be found.

If you would like some help or advice on your air quality assessment please email

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