52% of people consider air pollution in the UK as the main environmental issue that they are worried about. The results are from an Attitudes to the Environment survey undertaken by the European Union in April/May 2014. The survey also shows that 54% of people in the UK personally consider protecting the environment as very important. However, only 32% of people in the UK agree that environmental issues have a direct effect on their daily life, despite the fact that particulate pollution has no safe threshold, and contributes to almost 30,000 deaths per year in the UK.
The sensitivity of the UK population to air pollution needs to be considered by developers and planners, as planning applications where air quality is an issue are likely to come under close scrutiny from the local population. It is essential that air quality assessments submitted in support of planning applications have been completed by competent, qualified air quality consultants.