Press release: Hastings Council planning committee votes for Queensway Gateway road despite unlawful air pollution

December 15, 2015 by combehavendefenders

Press release
Combe Haven Defenders [1]
Tuesday 15 December

Contact 07565 967 250

Photo: Protesters outside the planning meeting https://combehavendefenders.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=4913

HASTINGS COUNCIL PLANNING COMMITTEE VOTES FOR QUEENSWAY GATEWAY ROAD DESPITE UNLAWFUL AIR POLLUTION

Three councillors vote against proposal, after previously voting in favour

Hastings Council has passed the planning application for the Queensway Gateway road for a second time, even though the planning consultant in charge of the case admitted that it would cause breaches of air pollution legislation. Despite hearing evidence that the road would breach the Air Quality Standards Regulations 2010, seven of the ten planning committee councillors voted to pass the application [2].

Planning permission for the road was granted unanimously by the council last February [3] but subsequently quashed by the High Court after a legal challenge by a local resident over the unlawful levels of air pollution it would cause [4]. Subsequently, the applicant, SeaChange Sussex, amended the traffic figures, claiming methodological and other errors in the first application, in order to be able to claim that the air pollution levels at residential receptors would be within the lawful limits [5]. However, their own evidence showed that air pollution levels at ecological receptors in the Hollington Valley Local Wildlife Site – through which 24,000 vehicles a day the road would pass – would be up to 570% above permitted levels [6].

More than 100 people came to the planning meeting to show their opposition to the road. Speaking to the committee, planning officer Tezel Bahcheli accepted that air pollution caused by the road would breach statutory limits, but advised that this was no bar to passing the planning application.

Combe Haven Defenders spokesperson Andrea Needham addressed the committee, pointing out that the road was not only unlawful in terms of air pollution, it would also breach six separate Hastings Borough Council policies. Speaking afterwards, she said, “Last week saw the total failure of politicians in Paris to come to a legally binding agreement which could mitigate the worst effects of climate change. Now we see that lack of concern about catastrophic climate change and habitat loss being replicated in our town. We’re glad that three councillors had the courage to say no to this road, but the rest of them should have faced up to their responsibilities and refused permission for this polluting and destructive road, which will destroy forever one of our most precious green spaces.”

Contact 07565 967 250

NOTES
[1] www.combehavendefenders.org.uk

[2] Councillors Roberts, Rogers and Wincott voted against.

[3] https://combehavendefenders.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/4199/

[4] http://www.hastingsobserver.co.uk/news/local/planning-permission-for-queensway-gateway-withdrawn-1-6810969

[5] https://combehavendefenders.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/letter-from-john-shaw.pdf – p2

[6] https://combehavendefenders.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/new-environmental-assessment.pdf – table 10.23, column 4: Nox level at receptor E1 170.9μg/m3. Critical level 30μg/m3.

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