An Odour Impact Assessment or Odour Assessment is an important condition of planning focusing on the evaluation of potential risk of odour annoyance to residents and businesses in the local area.
The Institute of Air Quality Management (IAQM) guidance defines odour as a mixture of many chemicals which interact to produce a ‘smell’. ‘Odour-free air’ refers to air containing no odorous chemicals. Fresh air is usually perceived as air containing no chemicals or contaminants that could be identified as ‘unpleasant’. Odour however is not strictly speaking an air pollutant.
An odour emission can cause annoyance and have an adverse impact on surrounding areas, resulting in complaints, investigation, and enforcement action from Environmental Health Officers from the Local Authority. A Combination of chemicals can affect the olfactory response causing a loss of amenity. Odour is subjective to the individual who determines whether it is acceptable, objectionable, or offensive.
The potential of odour impact on surrounding areas often causes an Environmental Health Officer and Local Planning Officers request the submission of an Odour Impact Assessment either prior to planning or as a condition of planning.