The Welsh Government has outlined the measures it will take to improve the country’s air quality under its Clean Air Plan for Wales: Healthy Air, Healthy Wales, revised following consultation – https://gov.wales/clean-air-plan-wales-healthy-air-healthy-wales. The measures outlined in the Plan will work alongside existing schemes to reduce public exposure to air pollution, such as the Active Travel Act and the Welsh Government’s Transforming Towns Initiative. Some of the measures are:
- significant investment in active travel infrastructure, improving rail services and supporting decarbonisation through our aim for a zero tailpipe exhaust emission taxi and bus fleet by 2028.
- investigating measures to support a reduction in personal vehicle use such as road user charging, Clean Air Zones and/or Low Emission Zones.
- implementing our electric vehicle charging strategy and supporting an increase in the proportion of vehicles which are ultra-low emission (ULEV) and promoting a shift to ULEVs for waste collection.
- increasing air quality monitoring through the development of a new Air Pollution Monitoring Network.
- intelligent tree and hedge planting alongside expanding woodlands to support air quality improvements.
- strengthening the control of emissions in agriculture.
- new planning advice in the shape of an updated Technical Advice Note (TAN) 11: Noise, which will also incorporate guidance on air quality and soundscape.
- proposals for a new Clean Air Act for Wales to enhance existing legislation and introduce new powers to further tackle air pollution.
Local development plans have not previously addressed agricultural developments in any great detail. The administration has set up an intensive agriculture working group to consider how LPAs can better understand the impact on the environment during plan preparation and the consideration of planning applications.