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Air quality law and permits

Environmental permit for a Part B process

Some industrial techniques have potential to cause pollution. Since 1990, many of these processes have required an authorisation from the Environment Agency to operate and they are also inspected annually. Some processes have the potential to cause only air pollution and for these operations the local authority is responsible for their inspection and regulation.

Licence summary

Following the introduction of the Pollution Prevention and Control Act 1999 the system of authorisation has been legislated to meet the requirements of the European Directive on Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control. The new Act covers a wider range of industrial processes using A1 and A2 classifications. Local authorities will control A2 processes. Those processes not covered by the European Directive but regulated as 'Part B' processes will continue to be controlled under Local Air Pollution Prevention Control by local authorities.

Eligibility criteria

Please see the list below for processes that are controlled by the local authority. This is a reduced list, for full details an copies of any process guidance notes, please click here Pollution and Prevention and Control (PPC) guidance notes:

  • dry cleaning
  • unloading of petrol and/or vapour recovery at storage terminal/service station
  • respraying of road vehicles
  • mobile concrete batching, crushing and screening
  • blending, packing, batching and/or loading of bulk cement
  • waste oil burner
  • coating of metals, plastics and wood products
  • cremation
  • concrete crushing
  • printing works
  • quarry processes
  • timber processing
  • powder coating
  • wood coating

If you are not sure which process applies to you please contact us using the details below. Full guidance is available on the website of the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Regulation summary

To view the legislation please follow the link The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016 (as amended).

The regulator will pay regard to the protection of the environment taken as a whole by, in particular, preventing or, where that is not practicable, reducing emissions into the air.

The regulator may inform the public of the application and must consider any representations.

Application evaluation process

The application must be from the operator of the regulated facility and the regulator must be satisfied that they must operate the facility in accordance with the environmental permit.

The details of the process changes are reviewed to ensure that all the necessary information has been included in the application form.

The local authority officer will acknowledge the application and either seek further information from the applicant, or confirm that the application has been ‘duly made’

The environmental permit should ideally be granted within four months for all applications except for Part B waste oil burners and dry cleaners where they will be granted within three months from the date of the 'duly made' application.

Please note that registration will only be granted when the necessary inspection by an officer from the local authority has been carried out to ensure the installation is operating in accordance with the relevant process guidance notes. If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period, please contact us

GDPR Data Privacy Notice

Southwark Council uses your personal data to process ‘Part B’ applications for a permit. The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016 requires us to do this and we do not need your permission. If you do not provide us with the requested information, we cannot process your application. Operation of a Part B regulatory process without a permit is unlawful, and may lead to prosecution.

Your information will only be used by or regulatory services environmental protection team. Your personal data will only be kept for as long as your permit is listed on the public register. However, formal cautions will be removed after 5 years, and details of convictions will be destroyed when the rehabilitation period for that sentence has ended. This is in accordance with section 5 of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (as amended).

If you are concerned about how the Southwark Council is using your data, contact our Data Protection Officer by email or telephone 020 7525 5000.

More information about your rights is available on our website or via the Information Commissioner.

Apply online

You can apply online by following one of the links below:


Under the environmental permitting regulations operators of industrial processes are charged an application fee for their permit.

Electronic payment is made available on completion of the form.

To download a copy of the fees and charges (PDF, 78kb) follow the link.

Failed applications redress and complaints

An applicant who is refused an environmental permit may appeal to the Secretary of State. Appeals must be lodged no later than six months from the date of the decision.

In the event of a complaint, contact us - preferably in the form of a written submission (with proof of delivery).

If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Citizens Advice will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

Compensation maybe payable in relation to conditions affecting certain interests in land.

Further information


A record is kept of all Part B Permits issued within Southwark. The information is public and anyone can view the public registers by appointment. Please contact us to arrange this.

Trade associations

Page last updated: 02 August 2022


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