Decision details

DEFRA Funding for Development of a Business Case Considering Interventions to Improve Air Quality

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To approve the funding in order to carry out the second Ministerial Direction.


The relevant Scrutiny Chairman’s  permission was sought to add this item to the Forward Plan given it did mot met the 28 days notice rule for a key decision. The Scrutiny Chairman agreed the item could go forward.



The Cabinet was provided with an update on the recently issued Ministerial Direction which required Solihull Council to develop a plan to reduce roadside nitrogen dioxide (NO2) for a section of the A45, which had previously been identified by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) as potentially exceeding roadside NO2 concentration limits as set out in the national air quality objectives. The stretch of the A45 affected was a short stretch from the M42 junction towards the airport.


Cabinet approval was sought to accept £500,000 funding from ‘The Joint Air Quality Unit’ (a joint unit between DEFRA and the Department for Transport), to deliver the Ministerial Direction to develop a plan to bring forward compliance on the affected stretch of road in the shortest time possible, with a final plan submitted by 30th April 2020.


Members were reminded that on 17th January 2019, Cabinet approved the measures to deliver the Ministerial Direction requiring Solihull Council to take steps to implement measures and also approved the request to The Joint Air Quality Unit (JAQU) for revenue grant funding of £824,373 to enable delivery of the proposed measures within the required timeframe. The programme of measures was currently being implemented.


Subsequently in March 2019 DEFRA published their 2017 national modelling projections for NO2 and identified that one of the road links where work was already being undertaken to reduce NO2 as previously detailed, potentially had a longer term exceedance of the legal limit with projected compliance in 2024. As a result, a further legally binding direction had been issued to mandate Solihull Council to develop a plan to bring forward compliance in the shortest time possible.


 The Direction required an initial plan by 31st July 2019 and a final plan to be submitted by 30th April 2020. The allocated funding of £500,000 from JAQU was to enable development of the plan in line with the guidance which would be provided by JAQU, and used to implement the plan.


Members on receiving the report noted that the work required under the first Ministerial Direction would continue, Members also noted that although there were no houses on identified stretch of road, there was a footpath hence the need for the work.



(i)  That Cabinet approves the acceptance of the resource grant payment of £500,000 to Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council under Section 31 of the Local Government Act 2003, to develop a local plan to bring forward compliance in the shortest time possible in line with the guidance which will be provided by JAQU; and


(ii)  That delegated responsibility for ensuring delivery of the Ministerial Direction be given to the Cabinet Member for Environment and Housing.


Report author: Sangeeta Leahy

Publication date: 12/04/2019

Date of decision: 11/04/2019

Decided at meeting: 11/04/2019 - Cabinet

Effective from: 19/04/2019

Accompanying Documents: