Tough new planning regulations to cut construction equipment emissions and improve air quality in the capital have been announced by Mayor Boris Johnson.

London Mayor Boris Johnson has announced plans to cut construction machinery emissions in the capital by targeting old bulldozers, diggers and other polluting building site machinery.

Any construction equipment more than 10 years old will need to replaced or retrofitted on all developments in central London and major developments in outer London (10 homes or more or 1,000 sq ft in other developments), with occasional exemptions for specialist construction machinery.

The new mandatory Supplementary Planning Guidance will address the emissions of dust and particulates (PM10 and PM2.5) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) from machinery, the first time any city has introduced rules for both particulate and NOx emissions.

Johnson said: “By replacing the oldest and most polluting bulldozers and machinery on building sites we can greatly reduce harmful emissions and boost our air quality. We've all walked past construction sites and seen thick clouds of dust generated from equipment that simply hasn't been updated or replaced in decades.

He added: “This new guidance will reduce NOx and is part of a series of strong measures including the Ultra Low Emission Zone from 2020, that will greatly reduce London's air pollution from all emission sources.”

Dr Claire Holman of the Institute of Air Quality Management said: “This is an important step in reducing emissions from demolition and construction sites that are both annoying and damaging to human health. These standards have rightly taken into account the impact on air quality and will be a key part of the planning process of new developments.”

London’s councils will start implementing the new regulations from September 2015.