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Pollution fears over Scunthorpe application

Bid to build six residential homes near steelworks may be rejected after area breaches air quality standards

An application to build six new homes near a steelworks in Scunthorpe is likely to be turned down, over fears that air quality in the area is too poor.

The North Lincolnshire council planning committee will meet tomorrow (February 12) to discuss the proposed development, but a report prepared by the case officer has recommended its members refuse permission.

The development would be located near the steelworks in Scunthorpe

As well as falling within the remit of the Scunthorpe 2005 Air Quality Management Area, the proposed application site is located near the Tata steelworks, which the report suggests is a ‘main source’ of particulate matter (PM) emissions.

It goes on to suggest that the applicant has not submitted any air monitoring data to contest the fact that the area is in breach of EU air quality standards.

The report states: “Both short-term and long-term exposure to ambient levels of PM10 is consistently associated with respiratory and cardiovascular illness and mortality as well as other ill health effects.

“Data from the PM10 dust monitor on East Common Lane, for 2013, shows that the area is in breach of the EU 24-hour air quality standard for PM10. The applicant has submitted no air quality monitoring data to contest this fact.

“By providing additional residential accommodation in this location the proposed development introduces new receptors into an area that is known to experience elevated levels of PM10 and that is close (within 500 metres) to the Integrated Steelworks site, which is the main source of such emissions. This could have serious health implications for the occupiers of the proposed dwellings.”

In its summary of recommendations for the councillors, the report adds that the site would be ‘unsuitable’ and create ‘unacceptable living conditions’ for future occupiers.

It reads: “No evidence has been provided to demonstrate that future residents can be adequately protected from noise, odour and/or undesirable concentrations of PM10 pollutants known to exist within the AQMA.”

However, councillors may rule not to follow the staff recommendations in their decision tomorrow, which has been classified as having ‘significant public interest’.

Harmful

The recommendations follow a report released by Defra in January last year that found concentrations of potentially harmful pollutants exceeded the European Commission target at both Scunthorpe Low Santon and Scunthorpe Town monitoring stations (see airqualitynews.com story).

The Scunthorpe monitoring stations made up two of three reported to be measuring ‘unusually high’ concentrations of the benzo[a]pyrene compound in 2011, including Ballymena Ballykeel in Northern Ireland.

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