Dangerous air quality from excessive localised motorway and local road congestion is of concern paarticularly given the regular news in the national press of the danger. St Helens council themselves have published 100 deaths every year are directly attributed to traffic generated air quality how many more deaths are acceptale per annum ? and how many survive but suffer chronic long term health issues due to this threat. We cannot mitigate entirely the M6 one of the busiest motorways in the UK but installing nine new warehouse terminals in an already area of high congestion clearly is going to make the situation much worse.
When faced with putting pen to paper and describing your thoughts to the mighty local authority is often daunting to folks who don’t normally do this sort of thing. The council website is very much in planning language, has a lot of very specialist questions and designed to cover all consultee’s many of whom are other local authorities or similar organisations.
For the ordinary member of the public, from whatever background, this is either impenetrable or at best difficult to know how to start. But the good news (as we show in the main article) is it is not necessary to use the council form or you can similar use the any other comments at the end of the form. What we explore here are the reasons you might include in your response, if you have concerns. You of course will have your own ideas but this is simply to flag up some issues in order to be helpful to you.
When making your response it would help if you flexed the wording so as to accurately reflect your personal thoughts.
Remember this also no one will be judging you on the depth, creativity or how well informed technically all that matters is that you DO respond.
Your opinion is important only you can make it, makes sure you don’t waste this opportunity.
If you have concerns over the local plan these points might be worth including
But before we do if you want to know again HOW to have your say click on our “how to” page HERE
The loss of green belt in the area of Newton and Haydock is excessive in relation to the loss in the rest of the borough.
Green belt should be released only in exceptional circumstances as required by the legislation this has not been demonstrated in the local plan only developer demand that is not exceptional circumstances either with the form or spirit of the legislation.
The traffic in the area proposed to suffer the largest green belt loss (Newton and Haydock) is already subject to severe traffic congestion from all directions but particularly M6, A580, A49. It is improbable the area will be able to absorb anything like the scale of housing and logistics developments proposed
The council has not published a viable traffic management plan to support the local plan it is therefore “unsound “without this vital component.
The council’s plans to route heavy goods traffic along Winwick Road and the High Street without a viable traffic plan is “unsound” particularly as the area is an air quality management area.
The councils plans to increase the green belt loss for housing in Newton and Haydock in order to justify the removal of green belt land for commercial development is against the general principles of green belt legislation and specifically that of the demonstration of exceptional circumstances.
The area of the borough expected to take the biggest loss of green belt and suffer the worst increase in traffic congestion is also one of the boroughs two air quality management areas because of traffic air quality. There is no provision in the local plan that addresses what will surely be a serious risk to residents in the area.
The council plan to put the public at major health risk by making an existing air quality management area more severe by some magnitude is grossly inconsistent with the councils duty of care for local health both in the 1995 environment act 1995 and the councils new responsibilities under the health and care system.
Under the localism act and the national policy planning framework (NPPF) the council has a duty to facilitate public engagement. This objective has been hampered by the council’s decision for the public engagement to be performed over the Christmas Period when the general public are likely to be distracted and other local authorities and other statutory consultee’s are likely to be closed for the festive holidays.
The public were consulted in the scoping phase of the local plan Jan to March 2016. The output from this consultation has not been published with the preferred options stage. This calls into question the validity of the consultation with such an important component omitted.