Building 42 Wrest Park Silsoe BEDFORD Bedfordshire MK45 4HP
01525 860222

Odour Assessment Survey for Planning


You will require an odour assessment to achieve planning permission and environmental permits. For industrial sites, you may need a combination of assessment, modelling and measurement services. An odour assessment survey may be sufficient for commercial sites like restaurant kitchens.

Industrial Development

If you are developing or altering a site that produces odour, you must include an odour assessment to support your planning and environmental permitting applications. This could include waste management, composting or landfill sites, intensive farming, food processing, rendering, wastewater and sewage plants, and commercial and restaurant kitchens. You must consider your site’s potential impact on local air quality and ensure the odour risk is below regulatory limits.

Residential and Commercial Development

You must conduct an odour assessment if you are developing a residential or commercial site where a nearby odorous process may impact the occupants. The planning authority will require you to ensure that future occupants are not adversely affected by odour. If you cannot demonstrate this, your planning application may be refused. You may also find it difficult to sell any premises if you have not considered potential odour nuisance sufficiently.


Typically, your first port of call for odour planning is an odour assessment survey. This is a qualitative assessment of the immediate surroundings of your proposed site or development.

Our highly skilled odour consultants at Silsoe Odours complete the assessment in line with the air quality section of the National Planning Practice Guidance and IAQM Guidance on the assessment of odour for planning.  We assess whether there will likely be a local odour impact.

Our odour consultants consider several factors, including the Frequency, Intensity and Duration of an odour, its Offensiveness and the sensitivity of the Local receptors. This is known as a FIDOL assessment. As a result, we can identify the potential risk of odour, from ‘very high’ to ‘low’. You can use this information to support your planning application and to design odour mitigation systems. In most cases, restaurant operators and residential or commercial developers are particularly interested in this service.


In most cases, planning for industrial sites will require a more in-depth odour investigation. You may wish to carry out an initial odour assessment survey to equip yourself with knowledge of local odour receptors. Our odour consulting team can then provide various odour assessment services to support your planning application, such as odour sampling surveys and dispersion modelling. In addition, you will find odour assessments helpful when you apply for environmental permits, your ongoing compliance with them, and to inform your odour management plans.


Many people overlook two other benefits of assessing odour during the planning stages. When you have a full suite of information about your odorous emissions, you can make good design decisions to mitigate any potential odours. As a result, your processes are likely to be much more efficient at minimising odours. While this provides benefits from the perspective of the regulator and planning authority, there are also more tangible benefits for you.

Firstly, you will not need to make costly design changes once your development is in operation. By designing your odour abatement equipment and processes effectively, you avoid the need for expensive design changes once your site is operational.

Secondly, you will avoid complaints by minimising your odour emissions from the outset. Odour complaints can often be costly to manage and damage your operation’s reputation. By minimising the likelihood of complaints, you are potentially saving time, money and reputational damage.


Client testimonials

Don’t take our word for it – here’s what our clients say:

I was introduced to Silsoe Odours by another consultant, as I required specialist odour consultancy advice to support a planning application. The application building was to be converted into residential use, but was in close proximity to a number of restaurants with associated extraction equipment. I needed to demonstrate that this would not be detrimental to the potential occupiers of the apartments. Silsoe Odours prepared a detailed report and ensured it was delivered in line with the deadline of the submission of the planning application. I would recommend their specialist services to anyone encountering odour queries in the planning process.

We needed an odour specialist to assist with a sensitive planning application and I approached Silsoe Odours on the recommendation of my architect. I was particularly impressed with the speed which which they attended site and delivered their report back to me. I now look forward to the outcome of the Planning Hearing.

James Pearson

Authentic Management

For support with your planning needs, call our odour team on 01525 860222.