Information for developers and construction companies

Developers and construction companies have to take pollution issues into account when designing and building new schemes. They have to deal with pollution on sites (such as contaminated land or asbestos) as well as during construction (such as noise or dust).

Air quality

The air quality impacts have to be considered, along with the existing surrounding air quality, and how it affects the development occupants.

Contact the council's Air Quality Officer on 020 8921 8349 for further guidance.

Air Quality and Planning Guidance (London Councils website)

Contaminated land

Brownfield sites are land that may have been contaminated, often as a result of previous industrial use. If you wish to develop on a brownfield site, you have to consider how to deal with potentially contaminated land.

This could include:

  • carrying out a desk top study, with or without intrusive investigation
  • drawing up a remediation strategy
  • providing a full validation of the installed scheme.

Land contamination: risk management (Gov.UK website)


Developers or construction contractors are encouraged to discuss schemes with our Environmental Protection team as soon as possible.

They provide advice to the Development Control team on the pollution issues affecting planning decisions. They'll make comments on issues such as:

  • contaminated land
  • noise
  • air quality
  • smells (odours)
  • smoke from burning.

They may also comment on:

  • public health aspects of asbestos contamination of sites or buildings
  • public health aspects of electromagnetic or radio-frequency radiation
  • nuisance aspects of light pollution
  • sound insulation between commercial and residential uses
  • any other pollution issue with public health or nuisance concerns.

Pollution issues can be more easily resolved if tackled early in the planning process.

Dust, noise and odours

Contractors have to ensure they do not cause dust or noise pollution during construction. You can see the government guidance and standards on the following websites:

We have our own codes of practice for building noise:

Developers have to ensure their schemes have proper ventilation systems to avoid odour problems from any commercial kitchens and hot food outlets. Existing businesses have to be able to install ventilation systems.

We have advice on ventilation for commercial kitchens and hot food outlets: