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14/02/2020

New TAN covering soundscape, noise and air quality takes shape

Words: Roger Milne
Exhaust fumes worsening air quality / iStock-626783640

The Welsh Government has made an informal call for evidence to support a new Technical Advice Note (TAN) that, for the first time, will cover not only air quality but soundscape and noise too.

The administration has stressed that planning policy in this area emphasises the requirement to secure opportunities as part of the planning process, rather than just avoiding the worst negative impacts.

“It is no longer acceptable to merely regard air quality and noise as technical matters to be mitigated at the end of the process, rather, they are integral to the design, functioning, health, amenity and well-being of places.

“Accordingly, an integrated approach should be taken towards drawing up strategies and formulating proposals for places which includes those relating to air quality and soundscape.”

The consultation document involved pointed out that the focus on placemaking in Planning Policy Wales meant policy topics such as air quality, noise and soundscape “should be considered alongside all other relevant policy topics when preparing development plans and designing and determining planning proposals”.

It added: “Development plan strategies, policies and development proposals should be formulated and designed to protect and enhance the special characteristics and intrinsic environmental qualities of places because they contribute to the attractiveness, vibrancy, liveability, resilience, functioning, economic prosperity and ultimately health, amenity and wellbeing of places. “

Information and evidence received will be collated to inform the preparation of the new draft TAN 11.

The consultation can be found here on the Welsh Government website.

Image credit | iStock

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