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Mayfair to tackle air pollution

May 30, 2018

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Mayfair is beginning to tackle its growing air pollution problem -one of the worst in Europe - with transport, home, and energy modifications.

Situated in the hub of one of the world’s busiest cities it can be easy to understand not being one of the greenest and ‘healthy’ areas in the UK. However, this is all about to change off the back of figures showing that the air quality in Mayfair and the greater Westminster area is recognised as being some of the poorest air quality in Europe, with concentrations of nitrogen dioxide and others regularly exceeding globally agreed acceptable levels.

It is a great example of how even in the 21st century residents, businesses and local counsellors can continue to make lasting impressions on areas they care about. This group, known as the Mayfair Forum have spent the last few years working on a process that will enable Mayfair to develop into a more people friendly area of London, taking into account transport, residences, air quality, carbon emissions and green space care.

Mayfair is currently experiencing a residential development boom led by 12 ultra-prime developers, across 15 developments, delivering 501 new luxury residences. The delivery of these new homes over the next five years represents the biggest transformation in Mayfair in nearly a century. Some 1.3 million sq.ft of residential space will be created thus increasing the number of addresses in Mayfair by 10% and the potential residentially occupancy by 25%. These developments, as well as having to comply with the London Plan, ensuring they are designed for warmer as well as wetter winters and hotter drier summers, should also incorporate green infrastructure within the development. The plan also sets out a reduction of mains water use of 40% through application of the Water Calculator. These proposals encourage developers to use ultra-low NOx boilers as well as demonstrating improved building and transport emissions for the development through both the construction and operational phases, with the aim to go beyond AQ neutral.

The issue of air quality is going to be targeted hard with the changes to transport within Mayfair. The frequency and route of various buses has already been changed to minimise the impact of emissions on the general public, but this is only the initial step. Listing out specific aims in the table below, the forum leading the proposed implementation of this scheme have investigated every available avenue.

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With the opening of Crossrail large scale changes will be felt in Mayfair, the sudden increase and ease within which Mayfair can be accessed will see a dip in road traffic but a heavy increase in foot traffic. To future-proof itself from these areas, in addition to on street cycle parking, commercial buildings will incorporate cycling facilities for storage and even repair. An increase in charging points for electric vehicles and at taxi ranks and ensuring any buses with routes through Mayfair by 2020 are zero-emission vehicles will help bring electric vehicles and their users to the area. The increase in footfall from Crossrail and a reduction in fossil fuel vehicle users will require pedestrian footpaths to be widened and modified to ensure safe passage through Mayfair. As well as the increase in reduced non-essential activity, such as passing traffic and deliveries, the benefits of less noise, pollution, congestion and dislocation by working with Westminster City Council, Transport for London and others. This will make noticeable and beneficial changes to those frequenting the area as they reduce traffic levels in Mayfair by 50% over the life of the Plan.

Forum developers such as a local real estate agent are proud of the involvement they have in their local area comments “Creating a more sustainable and healthy environment for all by stressing the importance of sustainability, especially in the property industry, is key to encouraging others. We see ourselves as a leader in this area and believe everyone can follow in our footsteps”

The already immaculately maintained green areas of Mayfair such as Grosvenor Square, Berkeley Square and Mount Street Gardens will enhance these spaces for recreation purposes of all residents throughout the year. Improved accessibility and usability will be enhanced by increasing the amount of suitable flora and fauna, to help provide improved air quality and preservation of the character of the areas within which new developments will front on to them.

Working alongside the proposals from Sadiq Khans government, boroughs of London are preparing an upheaval of previous guidelines to ensure London keeps as clear from the tags of its dirty industrial past as possible.

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