Air quality within the borough is generally good despite having declared 3 AQMA’s (along the stretch of the M4 within the boundaries of Wokingham, Wokingham Town Centre and Twyford Centre). We have a network of 60 diffusion tubes and two continuous monitoring units, one at Whitley Wood Lane and the other in Peach Street, Wokingham. The data gathered help establish the Nitrogen Dioxide levels in these locations so that we can establish if the national objective is being exceeded. Levels at Whitley Wood Lane remain above the average annual mean concentration for NO2 of 40 μg/m3.
We publish an annual report based on the monitoring data for the calendar year. In addition we are required to undertake a Further Assessment of air quality within the declared AQMA’s. These assessments will inform us of the likely source apportionment of the traffic within our AQMA’s and help shape the objectives in the Action Plan. Like most Authorities, particulate matter is not measured. Although it is only transportation considered within this report, it is worth noting that ‘major’ polluters are required to obtain a permit which controls the levels of emissions from either the local Authority or the Environment Agency.
Further information about air quality (including the annual reports) within the Borough is available on the Environmental Health pages of our website.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has published ‘First Priority Locations’ and ‘Important Area’ strategic noise maps for 38 locations and areas within the Borough where road traffic noise is predicted to have detrimental impacts on local residents. The Highways Agency has prepared action plans for those they are responsible for and we have responded to DEFRA on these.
From April to September 2015 we have received 395 noise related complaints/enquiries, 135 relate to Commercial and Transport related sources, 260 relate to Residential sources. Domestic noise (70+), Barking Dogs (70+) and Construction sites (40+) are the main sources to date.
In 2014/15 we received 700 complaints, 291 related to Commercial and Transport sources with 409 relating to Residential sources. Barking Dogs (100+) and Licensed premises (100+) were the main cause of complaint.
No sites within Wokingham have been declared as Contaminated Land under the statutory definition. There are approximately 840 sites where historic and/or current land use has the potential to cause contamination or provide a link between contamination and the user on site.
Between April and September 2015 we have responded to 79 enquiries relating to contamination, these are in relation to property purchases and have dealt with 11 planning condition discharge requests. In 2014/15 we received a total of 109 and approx 30 contaminated land planning condition discharge requests.
Private Water Supplies
There are 20 private water supplies within the Wokingham area. These have all now been risk assessed and where necessary treatment processes have been installed to improve the quality of the supply. We also carry out sampling and work with supply owners on sites where large numbers of people are potentially exposed.
27 samples were taken during 2014/15 (sampling frequency is determined by the supply risk).