13 September 2019
Norwich Green Party councillors have renewed calls for council action on air pollution as Extinction Rebellion protestors have announced a ‘Clean Air Die In’ at Anglia Square on Saturday 14th September over illegal air pollution levels in Norwich.
The Greens have warned that the additional 1,500 car parking spaces proposed in the plans for Anglia Square will increase harmful NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) levels, especially on Magdalen Street. The redevelopment would also cause illegal levels of particulate pollution on Edward Street, New Botolph Street, Pitt Street and St Crispin’s roundabout. Models also show that the development would result in PM10 particulate levels that exceed the current World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines (1, 2).
Air pollution is already at illegal levels in Norwich (3). Green Party Councillors have called for immediate action, including extending a ban on idling vehicles (which currently only applies on Castle Meadow) and ensuring it is enforced, greater investment in public transport, and revising planning policies to ensure that new developments will not contribute to air pollution.
Green Party Councillor for Mancroft Ward and climate activist, Jamie Osborn, said:
“Air pollution is already an emergency that claims lives in Norwich, and it would be scandalous if the redevelopment of Anglia Square contributed to worsening that situation.
“Instead of allowing developments that will lock Norwich into needing yet more cars, we need to be planning a city that will allow people to live and work without pollution. An approach to planning that is based around shared transport and affordable housing rather than private cars for expensive flats would also improve people’s health and help tackle inequality.
“Anglia Square is a prime site in Norwich that should be an example of how we want our city to be: clean, affordable, and sustainably connected.”
22nd September will be Norwich’s first Car Free Day as a result of a Green Party motion, though the city council has refused to officially close any roads on the day.
1. Air Quality Assessment for the proposed re-development at Anglia Square, Norwich, Report to Weston Homes Plc, Aether Ltd, (Version 2 – Addressing NCC Comments, August 2018) https://ucab33d4f809b58ed66d50201b2d.dl.dropboxusercontent.com/cd/0/get/AoabTqCygaJO_wKgHMw-zyjMOlN1uR7FdZL_u9bARvAFH_GoVnz-FJaAhNpTCzE4ip3TnC_CtD8yChoJr6gyFHo-3WiYfN2eGAcVTw6yPti42g/file?dl=1#
2. The Anglia Square consultation response County Council Public Health raised concerns about the effect on air quality of the proposed Anglia Square development. (Email from Phil Shreeve, 29th May 2018 to Tracy Armitage, NCC as from Council Planning Portal).
3. Norwich City Council 2018 Air Quality Annual Status Report from the Council to DEFRA: data for 2017 monitoring - https://www.norwich.gov.uk/download/downloads/id/4715/2018_air_quality_annual_status_report.pdf