Information for operators

Under the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010 (‘the regulations’) all industrial activities that are capable of causing environmental pollution are required to be regulated through environmental permits. Currently the Council regulates 36 small industrial processes (referred to as installations) to ensure that any associated air pollution emissions do not have an impact on local air quality.

These installations are subject to a process of permitting. It is the Council's responsibility to ensure that the installations comply with the conditions on the environmental permits and to do this, risk assessments, monitoring and inspections have to be carried out.

You will need an Environmental Permit if you operate:

  • a dry cleaning machine
  • a service station that has a throughput of more than 500m3 in a 12 month period
  • a vehicle coating or vehicle refinishing garage that uses more than 0.5 tonnes of solvent in a year
  • an activity that involves the blending, packing, loading, unloading or use of bulk cement
  • a waste oil burner (less than 0.4MW thermal input)

The above list consists of the activities that are most likely to take place in this borough. For a full list of the activities that fall under the regulations see Part 2 of Schedule 1 of the Regulations.

How do I apply for a Permit?

You can apply for a permit by downloading the application form below or by contacting the Environmental Quality Unit using the details on the left of this page to request a paper copy. The completed form must be submitted with the appropriate application fee. The application fees for this year can be found on the DEFRA website.  If you are applying for a permit for an activity that is not listed below, you can either apply online or contact the Environmental Quality Unit as above for an application form.

Permit Application Forms:

Please send completed application forms along with the application fee to the Environmental Quality Unit. Please note that we currently only accept cheques for the payment of the application fee, please make these payable to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

Before a permit is granted we will visit your premises to explain the requirements of the permit to you. We will only grant the permit if we are sure that you are able to comply with the Environmental Permit conditions.

Inspection and Compliance Monitoring

All installations and processes are inspected on a regular basis to ensure compliance with the conditions in the Environmental Permit. During the inspections a risk assessment is carried out and a risk level of high, medium or low is assigned to the premises. The frequency of the inspections and the annual subsistence charge is dependent on the results of the risk assessment process.

The risk assessment process has been devised by DEFRA and comprises an environmental impact appraisal and an operator performance appraisal.

Variations and Permit Reviews

If you are intending to make any change to your installation that may have an impact on the environment The Council must be informed. You must notify us in writing at least 14 days prior to making the change. The written notification must contain a full description of the proposed change and its likely consequences. The Council may alter the permit conditions that have been set as a result of the changes that are to be made.

If you would like to notify us of a change to your installation please complete this form:

Permit Transfers

If the owner or operator of an installation is changing, the Environmental Permit will need to be updated. For reduced fee activities (dry cleaners and service stations) there is no charge for transferring a permit. Transfer requests need to be signed by both the old and new owners/operators. If we do not receive the transfer request with both signatures we will be unable to transfer the permit and a new permit will need to be applied for (this will incur an application charge and will take significantly longer),

If a permit transfer is required, please complete and return this form at least 14 days prior to the new operators taking over:

Permit surrenders

You will need to surrender your Environmental Permit if your premise is closing or your permitted activity is ceasing. To surrender your Environmental Permit please complete and return this form:

Fees and Charges

Operators of activities that have an Environmental Permit are required to pay annual subsistence fees. Find out more information on the fees which are set annually by the Secretary of State.

We send an invoice for the subsistence fees after the 1st of April of each year (the amount will depend on the outcome of the risk assessment during your last inspection).

There are also various fees associated with Environmental Permit transfers and variations, which can be seen on the DEFRA website.

Guidance documents

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has produced various guidance documents. The General Guidance Manual provides guidance on the policy and permitting procedures for activities covered under The Regulations.  The guidance also includes Process Guidance Notes for each regulated activity, including:

  • Process Guidance Note for Dry Cleaners
  • Process Guidance Note for Service stations
  • Process Guidance Note for Vehicle re-spraying
  • Process Guidance Note for small waste oil burners

Frequently asked questions:

How do I comply with my dry cleaning Environmental Permit?

If you use any of the solvents listed in the regulations throughout any of the dry cleaning process (from the receipt if the raw materials, the cleaning process and dispatch of finished products) then you must not use more than 20 grams of solvent per kilogram of the clean and dried product. To put this another way, you must use less than 1 litre of dry cleaning solvent for every 80 kilograms of clothes cleaned.

You need to keep accurate records of the weight (in kilograms) of each load cleaned and how much solvent you use. These values need to be recorded on weekly and annual sheets and will be examined during your routine inspections.

I run a receiving shop only and do not have a dry cleaning machine, do I need a permit?

If you are only a receiving shop and do not have a dry cleaning machine at your premises then you do not need a permit. However, please let us know this so we can keep our records up to date.

What are Volatile Organic Compounds?

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are a large group of predominantly gaseous compounds produced through the incomplete combustion of carbon-based fuels and include, for example Benzene and 1,3–butadiene.

VOCs may alter into substances that are able to damage the genetic material in cells and initiate the development of cancer, although the capacity to damage cells in this way depends upon the individual VOC.

What happens if I operate my installation without an Environmental Permit?

It is an offence under Section 38 of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 to operate a regulated installation without a permit. The maximum penalty in a court of law is a fine up to £50,000 or imprisonment up to five years.

Last updated: 29 November 2019