UCL Engineering Exchange


Air quality monitoring project hosts community workshop

3 December 2018

The event was the last in a series of workshops to help residents prioritise spending of the Community Infrastructure Levy

An image of construction works behind the British Library and St Pancras

Last Friday, the third of a series of workshops aimed at mitigating negative impacts of major infrastructure projects around Euston Station was held at Basil Jellicoe Hall in Somers Town, Camden. The workshop was part of an on-going collaboration between UCL and the Somers Town Neighbourhood Forum (STNF).

The workshops aimed to help residents of the area prioritise spending of the Community Infrastructure Levy, a planning charge paid by developers to local authorities.

Donna Turnbull, who has previously worked on the Environmental Justice Inquiry undertaken by STNF, Voluntary Action Camden (VAC), the Environmental Law Foundation and UCL Faculty of Laws and Faculty of Engineering Sciences, said: 

'I think it's fantastic that there is this level of technical expertise behind the voice of residents and the critical issues they are taking on in the Euston area.'

STNF and the Engineering Exchange received funding from UCL's Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) Knowledge Exchange and Innovation Fund to undertake the work.

Dr Charlotte Johnson, a researcher in the UCL Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources who worked on the project, said:

'Supporting STNF’s work on air quality in their local area has been incredibly rewarding. It has been an opportunity to understand the complexity of issues affecting local air quality and learn from the forum as they tackle these issues head on, working with all stakeholders and drawing on the creativity and commitment of their members to improve their environment and demand higher standards.'

Neighbourhood Forums are local community committees that can produce neighbourhood plans which must be taken into account by local planning authorities when assessing applications and developments. The Somers Town Neighbourhood Forum was one of the first to be established, formed in June 2013 in order to test this approach to community governance and engagement in planning.

Slaney Devlin, STNF chair and a Somers Town resident who has also taught on the EngEx CPD, said:

'The academic rigour and industry reach that UCL's Engineering Exchange has brought to the project have meant that the community's concerns about local air pollution are finally being taken seriously.'

Read more about the project