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Build homes away from roads, says NICE


01 March 2019

New homes should be built away from roads in order to minimise residents’ exposure to air pollution, according to new guidance issued by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). 

The organisation’s updated quality standard on air pollution lists ways in which the land-use planning system can minimise people’s exposure to traffic pollution. Suggestions are:

• siting and designing new buildings, facilities and estates to reduce the need for motorised travel

• minimising the exposure of vulnerable groups to air pollution by not siting buildings (such as schools, nurseries and care homes) in areas where pollution levels will be high

• siting living accommodation away from roadsides

• avoiding the creation of street and building configurations (such as deep street canyons) that encourage pollution to build up where people spend time

• including landscape features such as trees and vegetation in open spaces or as ‘green’ walls or roofs

• considering how structures such as buildings and other physical barriers will affect the distribution of air pollutants

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