Residents objecting to a controversial housing development in Clitheroe fear the scheme will add to the growing air pollution problems currently experienced by householders.
Members of the Back Commons Residents Group (BCRG) fighting a revised application for 275 houses in Waddow View, Clitheroe, claim the town already has the highest CO2 emissions in the country and an increase in traffic will adversely affect this.
In addition, they fear if the development is given the go ahead, it will result in a loss of walking area and there will be a higher risk of traffic accidents.
Clitheroe resident and member of BCRG, Prof. Paul Bacon said: “The Waddow View proposal will have exactly the opposite, negative effect on health through increased air pollution. Coming on top of the large developments along Henthorn Road and Low Moor, it will bring traffic gridlock on overcrowded streets on the west of the town. The resultant emissions will drive up air pollution, but CO2 levels in Clitheroe are already bad. The district has one of the worst CO2 emissions per person in England at 18.4 tonnes – over double the national average of 7.6 tonnes. This is exacerbated by narrow streets and steep hills. Short bursts of acceleration on hills or in traffic queues that move intermittently promote release of nitric oxides. These free radicals are very destructive to tissues and a potent cause of chronic obstructive airways disease.”
He added: “The loss of walking areas comes at a time when a prime government objective is to promote increased daily exercise for all as a major part of the battle against obesity, diabetes and heart disease. The attractive site at Waddow View positively encourages all to exercise and in fact the network of footpaths is actively used by all ages, from school children to elderly dog-walkers. It is important to retain this positive stimulus to health.”
Finally, Prof. Bacon is urging council officials to consider safety from traffic accidents. “The increase in traffic will be most dense at the time of the school run. It has already been pointed out that increased traffic from the Waddow View application would affect several schools and that children cut through the traffic to cross the roads to school.
“It is reasonable to expect Ribble Valley Borough Council to take account of the health aspects in their revised core strategy,” he concluded.