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Calls to block Houghton Green developments

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PLANS to develop three sites in Houghton Green should be stopped due to their impact on health and wellbeing.

The Green Party are calling on Warrington Borough Council to refuse permission for the developments at the end of Mill Lane, close to the M62.

They include a proposal for 27 houses at the end of Mill Lane on the right, a similar sized plot behind the Plough Pub and another much larger proposal.

Green Party Leader, Lyndsay McAteer, said: “WBC describe Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) on their web page as being highly polluted. They define them as 50m continuous strips on both sides of the M6, M62 and M56 motorway corridors, due to potential exceedances of the annual nitrogen dioxide objective.

“As well as being highly polluted, such places are extremely noisy, the combination of which must have a detrimental impact on health and wellbeing to anyone living metres away.

“The Green party are arguing that all three should be refused planning permission because of their proximity to the M62 AQMA. How can you justify building homes for families, especially children, that will have a negative impact on health and wellbeing, so close to the pollution and noise? WCB claim that they are monitoring these places, but we haven’t seen any reports.

“The planning system in this country appears to be at the beck and call of developers rather than fitting the needs of residents. We should be building homes that are fit and safe to live in.”

Backing the campaign is former Mayor of Warrington and Green Party member, Geoff Settle.

Geoff is an asthmatic, born in Liverpool, who suffered from bronchitis that kept him off school for two weeks every winter because of the coal fired smog.

His parents took the family doctor’s advice to move away from the polluted city to protect his health and he recovered.

He is now a Public Adviser to local University PhD students in the North West, and has been taking readings next to the proposed site border.

Geoff said: “My fear is that the smog clouds of the 1950’s are being replaced by invisible toxic clouds produced by heavy road traffic. To build houses in the AQMA areas is too high a risk to pay. I think that there should be a no build zone well away from the toxic source.

“We’ve all heard of the nine-year old Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah who died from an asthma attack to become the first person in the UK to have air pollution listed as a cause of death. There have been at least two reports published this year indicating the poor pollution levels found across the borough.

“The heavy traffic from the M62 is very loud and even with bunds and fences in place, studies show that sound will travel over and around the defenses. Even with triple glazing in place what happens when you want to let fresh air into your home, go out into your garden, or hang out your washing?”

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Journalist and sport content specialist, who is also editor of Love Rugby League. Formerly ran the official website of the Carling Cup, as well as operating a digital services business in Warrington.

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