A 330-home development won’t go ahead in Newington due to air quality concerns, according to CPRE Kent. Gladman Developments had attempted to overturn the refusal to grant planning permission for the homes and an extra care facility at Pond Farm near Sittingbourne, but the Court of Appeal turned it down.
According to the Campaign to Protect Rural England Kent, it challenged the proposed development as it felt it would have been dependent on car-based transport, which would have caused unacceptable levels of air pollution in an area already beside a major road (the A2).
The CPRE notes that Gladman offered to make a financial contribution towards mitigation measures, but the environmental charity’s air-quality witness, Professor Stephen Peckham, said there was no evidence that measures would limit the use of petrol or diesel vehicles or reduce nitrogen dioxide emissions. The overall conclusion drawn by the inspector is that this housing scheme could have harmed human health if it went ahead.
“We believe that winning this planning appeal represents the first time air-quality mitigation leading to health concerns has been given as a reason,” says Richard Knox-Johnston, vice-president of CPRE Kent. “CPRE Kent used air quality in this case even though the local planning authority did not object. In having this precedent tested in the High Court, and subsequently in the Court of Appeal, it has been shown that air-quality mitigation must now be taken into consideration in any planning application.”
Source – Environment Analyst