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Breckland air pollution guidance delayed to consider effect on developers

15:30 19 June 2012

Air pollution in Swaffham has exceeded national guidelines for two years.

Air pollution in Swaffham has exceeded national guidelines for two years.

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New guidance to limit air pollution from developments in Breckland has been delayed after councillors said they wanted more information about how it would affect developers.

Cabinet members today said they did not want news that air pollution in Swaffham has breached national standards for two years, triggering the district’s first air quality management area, to inhibit new development in the town.

The technical guidance document, drawn up by the Norfolk Environmental Protection Group with eight Norfolk councils, is designed to help developers factor air quality considerations into their plans at an early stage.

Swaffham councillor Frank Sharpe raised concerns the problems in the town could get worse after councillors approved 335 new homes in March, and with plans for 250 more dwellings and a Tesco store under consideration.

However, fellow Swaffham councillor Ian Sherwood said that while he valued air quality, the town needed development to provide jobs, housing and services, and he did not want “an overreaction because we are having fumes above a certain level” to restrict this.

The council’s overview and scrutiny committee had recommended the cabinet accept the guidance, but a decision was deferred to a later meeting.

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