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LES Partnership To Promote New Low Emissions Strategies Across England

March 2009

The Low Emission Strategies (LES) Partnership is working with local authorities to promote low emission strategies across England following the recent release of new guidelines from Defra for local authorities on improving air quality.

Defra has issued revised guidance to nearly 400 local authorities across England to be used when assessing and implementing measures to manage air quality. The practice guidance includes information on:

  • Principles for the assessment of local measures to improve air quality
  • Low Emission Zones (including examples of where these have been successfully introduced)
  • Measures to encourage the uptake of low emission vehicles (a measure in the UK Air Quality Strategy 2007)
  • Measures to encourage the uptake of retro fitted abatement equipment to vehicles

Following the release of the new Defra guidelines, Environment Minister Lord Hunt has written to all local authorities in England expressing the important role they play in helping to improve local air quality and in working towards the achievement of the UK's air quality objectives and its obligations in meeting EU air quality limit values.

The LES Partnership is currently working with 15 local authorities across England to support the delivery of low emission strategies, and now hopes to work with Defra to produce further guidance and run joint events around improving air quality in planning.

Rob Pilling, LES Programme Manager, said: “We are very keen to work with Defra to promote the adoption and use of LES approaches. The LES Partnership already works with several local authorities and our approach is achievable and effective, especially when planners and environmental practitioners work well together. The LES model ensures that developments are designed with the lowest environmental impact. Now we hope to develop this model within Defra’s new guidelines and roll out the approach across all local authorities in England.”

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