Environmental permitting

Environmental permitting

Air pollution emissions from industrial processes can have an impact on local air quality. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea regulates small industrial processes in the borough under the Pollution Prevention and Control regime, to ensure the prevention and reduction of emissions to air.

The table shows industrial activities in The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the associated emissions to air:

 Industrial Activity  Air pollution emissions
Dry cleaning Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
Petrol storage Petroleum vapour

If you operate or are planning to operate a dry cleaning installation, a petrol filling station or any other activity that falls under the regulations, in the borough please visit our Information for Operators page.


The legislation 

Pollution from all industrial processes is governed by the Pollution Prevention and Control Act 1999 and the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2016 ('The Regulations').

The Environmental Permitting Regulations 2016 set out systems of approval for industrial processes which produce atmospheric emissions or have the potential to do so. The Regulations cover three types of activities or installations:

  • A(1) installations, for example a Power Station - these are regulated by the Environment Agency
  • A(2) installations, for example large scale glass manufacturing - these are regulated by local authorities
  • Part B Installations, for example, dry cleaners, local authorities also regulate these


Processes dealt with by the Council

Under the Regulations, the Council is responsible for permitting and inspecting all Part A(2) and Part B installations.

Currently, there are no Part A(2) installations within the borough. Part B installations are those that have the potential to cause air pollution only and include activities such as dry cleaning and the unloading of petrol. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is almost entirely residential in character therefore there are very few industrial processes.

There are 30 Part B installations currently operating that hold an Environmental Permit and these are outlined in the table below. The actual permits are in the process of being updated as there have been changes to legislation since they were issued. Some premises have also been taken over by new operators and the permits and map are being amended to reflect this.  

Further information about each permitted installation is held in the Public Register. Some documents within the public register can be viewed on the public register page or find out how to view a hard copy of the public register.


The processes

Part B Processes

1. Petrol filling stations – unloading of petrol into storage

The filling stations in the borough have all been authorised for operating a vapour recovery system. The vapour recovery process works by returning vapours displaced by the delivery of petrol into storage installations through a vapour-tight connection line to the tanker delivering the petrol.

The system applies to the unloading of petrol from a delivery vehicle into the storage tanks of filling stations and, since the 1st January 2010, it also applies to the unloading of petrol from storage tanks into customers’ vehicle fuel tanks.

The Environmental Permit ensures that this system is working correctly and that the process will not have an adverse impact on local air quality.

2. Dry cleaners – use of organic solvents

The Solvent Emissions Regulations 2004 (SED Regs) was introduced to limit further emissions of VOCs through the use of organic solvents. This gives effects to European Directive 1999/13/EC, which is commonly referred to as the Solvent Emissions Directive.

All new dry cleaning installations using organic solvents (in particular perchloroethylene (PER), hydrocarbon solvent (HSC) and siloxane) must have a permit before operations commence. The permit has conditions that ensure that only a certain amount of solvent is used per load of clothes cleaned and confirms that the dry cleaning machine is operated and maintained appropriately.


Part A Processes

In addition to Part B processes, there are also Part A processes. These are large industrial processes and are regulated by the Environment Agency.

Until September 2002 we had one Part A process in the Royal Borough - the Lots Road Generating Station. This has now ceased to operate.

Further information can either be viewed in the Councils Part A register held in the Environmental Health department or by contacting the Environment Agency


Inspection and Compliance Monitoring

All installations and processes are inspected on a regular basis by both the regulating body and the operator to ensure compliance with their Environmental Permit. The frequency of the inspections is dependent on the results of a risk assessment process.

The risk assessment process has been devised by Defra and is undertaken annually. The risk assessment comprises an environmental impact appraisal and an operator performance appraisal.


Fees and charges

Operators of Part B processes are charged an annual subsistence fee which is set each year by DEFRA. There are also charges for applying for an Environmental Permit. To see the current charges for this year visit the DEFRA website.


Public Register

The Council maintains a register of all authorised processes in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. This register can be viewed Monday to Friday during normal office hours at the Council Offices. See the Public Register page for details.

There is no charge for accessing the public register. Any photocopying of information will incur an administration charge.


Last updated: 20 October 2022