Planning and Pollution


Regulatory Services perform an important role in the planning process. We provide our partners with technical advice on the environmental suitability of strategic planning and major developments, down to simple planning applications made by individual members of the public.

The technical guidance provided here is designed to assist planning officers, members of the public, environmental consultants and planning agents in the process. This may include submitting supporting documents to properly consider the impact of the proposed development.

Members of public wishing to make a comment on planning application(s) please contact the Local Planning Authority at your local council.


Technical Guidance note for planning

This technical guidance document sets out in detail, Worcestershire Regulatory Services approach to dealing with environmental protection matters when consulted by local planning authorities(LPA) focusing on the areas of Contaminated Land, Air Quality, Light Pollution, Noise and Vibration and Odour. Experienced planning applicants may wish to use this document to assist in their own pre-application screening process as to whether their proposals will require assessment for suitability. A copy of the guidance is available to download below. WRS also provide further advice on air quality impact by looking at our interactive map function.

PLEASE NOTE : Chapter 5 on noise control has had a major revision as of July 2021.

*NEW* Technical Guidance Document v.5.6 (Last updated August 2023)

(This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Follow the link about how to request it in an accessible format.)


Guidance on noise assessments during Covid-19 outbreak (as of January 2020 up to August 2021)

Due to the country being placed on a civil contingency footing and the consequential changes in public behaviour and norms the production of noise assessments from the deployment of noise meters during this period will not be considered representative for the purposes (March 19th 2020 onward) of development control. In light of this WRS are making the following recommendations to assist developers and LPA’s with regards to the use of alternative methods of assessment that will be considered acceptable until normality returns :

Construction & Demolition

WRS addresses all aspects of pollution associated with building work and construction activity and will draw its requirements to the attention of developers during the development and ground preparation stages. This guide is designed with major construction projects in mind however small scale developers will find the guide useful. A copy of the best practice guide is available to download below:

Construction & Demolition Guidance V2.0 (November 2020)

Unsociable working hours request form (Microsoft Word version)

(These files may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Follow the link about how to request it in an accessible format.)

Associated Documents

The technical guidance note for planning refers to several stand alone guides that WRS still consider relevant. Some of these documents have been retracted by DEFRA  and are no longer available however their technical content  still remain valid for the purposes of assessing environmental impact on planning matters. Copies of these documents are available to download (Please note that DEFRA guidance for the control of odour from commercial kitchen systems has been superseded by EMAQ's guidance, which can be found on EMAQ's web site.

Biomass boilers are regulated in a variety of ways (depending on the size of the boiler) and WRS requires additional information to make the appropriate assessment for compliance with these requirements. WRS have powers under The Clean Air Act 1993 to request the measurement of dust emissions from the biomass boiler exhaust stack and require arrestment plant to be installed to control dust emissions if required.

The Act is primarily aimed at controlling smoke, grit and dust.  This legislation does not serve to mitigate fine particulate matter emissions. The technical details of the biomass boiler, emission concentrations, fuel specification, fuel storage and delivery arrangements in addition to a determination of stack height must be submitted to us for approval. The biomass boiler information form should be completed and included with your planning application if planning permission is required. The information request can be downloaded below:

Biomass Boiler Information Request Form