Last edited 16 Feb 2021


A ‘receptor’ is a component of the natural or built environment (such as a human being, water, air, a building or a plant) that is affected by an impact of construction works and/or the operation of a proposed development.

Air quality sensitive receptors are people, property, species or designated sites for nature conservation that may be at risk from exposure to air pollutants potentially arising as a result of a proposed development.

Ref The HS2 London-West Midlands Environmental Statement, Glossary of terms and list of abbreviations, DETR 2013.

NB Culvert, screen and outfall manual, (CIRIA C786) published by CIRIA in 2019, defines a receptor as: ‘The entity, such as a person, property or habitat, which may be harmed by an event via a source and pathway. The vulnerability of a receptor can be reduced by increasing resilience.’

Guidance on the code of practice for property flood resilience, published by CIRIA in 2021, defines a receptor as: ‘The entity that may be harmed by a particular hazard (eg a person, property, habitat). For example, in the event of heavy rainfall (source) floodwater may propagate across the flood plain (pathway) and inundate a buildings (receptor) that may suffer material damage (the harm or consequence).’

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