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Agenda Item No

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 1st July 2013

Report of the Leader

Designation of an Air Quality Management Area, Windsor Road, Penarth

Purpose of the Report

1. To designate an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) for an identified area of Windsor Road, Penarth

Recommendations

1. THAT an Air Quality Management Area is formally designated by Order under the provisions of Section 83(1) of the Environmental Act 1995 for an identified area of Windsor Road, Penarth shown in Appendix A.

2. THAT an Action Plan is developed to manage the Air Quality Management Area within 12 months of the designation.

3. THAT a further assessment of air quality is undertaken following the designation.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1. To protect the health of residents within the identified area of Windsor Road, Penarth, where the annual average concentrations of nitrogen dioxide is likely to exceed statutory limits.

2. There is a statutory requirement upon designation of an Air Quality Management Area to develop and implement an Action Plan to manage and reduce nitrogen dioxide concentrations within the identified area.

3. To undertake a further assessment of air quality in the indentified area to inform and monitor the Action Plan

Background

2. Air pollution remains a serious public health issue whose contribution to ill health and mortality is significant across the UK. If you are in a good state of health, moderate air pollution levels are unlikely to have any serious short term effects. However, elevated levels and/or long term exposure to some pollutants can lead to more serious symptoms and health conditions. This mainly affects the respiratory and inflammatory systems. People with underlying lung or heart conditions are also more susceptible to the effects of air pollution

3. Data collected over a number of years, suggested that along Windsor Road and Cogan Junction emissions of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) are at, or close to, the annual average concentration objective of 40ug/m3 which triggered a Detailed Assessment.

4. The Detailed Assessment identified that the annual average nitrogen dioxide objective is likely to be exceeded at a small number residential properties on Windsor Road, and recommended that an AQMA be declared. Due to accepted technical uncertainties the AQMA includes nitrogen dioxide exposures from 36ugms in the area assessed.

5. Based on this evidence, on 19th November 2012 Cabinet recommended the Council consults with residents, the public, stakeholders and statutory consultees on the designation of an Air Quality Management Area for an area of Windsor Road, Penarth (Minute C1908).

Relevant Issues and Options

6. Consultation on the proposed Air Quality Management Area took place between 17th January and 8th March 2013.  Residents living in and near the proposed area were provided with written information and invited to two local drop-in sessions to speak directly to Public Protection officers.

7. Known stakeholders were contacted and invited to comment as detailed in Appendix B.  The consultation was also promoted through the Council's website, local press and member briefings. Appendix C details the consultation steps taken.

8. Consultation comments have been collected and collated with details in Appendix D.

9. In summary:

  • There was broad support for the creation of any AQMA and action to be taken to reduce air pollution.
  • Several responses noted the traffic congestion in the area associated with Cogan Spur traffic lights and the mini roundabout on Windsor Road before these traffic lights. Traffic congestion is a well known source and causes of air pollution.
  • Suggestions were provided on solutions to the traffic congestion on Windsor Road. These will be considered during the development of the Action Plan.
  • There was some concern that property values may be adversely affected. There is no evidence to suggest property value within an AQMA will be adversely affected by the declaration of the area
  • One response requested a reduction in Council Tax if area is declared. This is not possible as there is no evidence to suggest property values are affected by designation of an AQMA.
  • No comments were received on changing the geographical extent of AQMA proposed.

    10. The Environment Act 1995 places a duty on all Local Authorities to review periodically air quality in their area and where air quality is unlikely to meet the statutory objectives requires the Council by Order to designate an Air Quality Management Area.

    11. Following the broad support from the pubic consultation, it is recommended that an Air Quality Management Area is designated for the identified area of Windsor Road, Penarth attached in Appendix A and shall come into effect on 1st June 2013

    12. The Environment Act 1995 also places a duty on the Council to develop an Action Plan to improve air quality in consultation with the public and stakeholders within 12 months of declaring the AQMA

    13. This Action Plan is required to manage and reduce air quality in the identified area and will require multi-disciplinary input from a range of Council departments and external stakeholders. Over the next 12 month Public Protection will lead in the development of this Action Plan before presentation to Cabinet for agreement.

    14. In addition to the Action Plan, the Council must further assess the air quality in the declared AQMA. Again, this will be undertaken by Public Protection.

    Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

    15. Resource will be required to co-ordinate and develop the Air Quality Management Plan. This will be achieved through existing resources within the Pollution Control Team.

    16. Current and planned future monitoring will be covered by existing budgets within Public Protection, Pollution Control.

    17. There will be a requirement to monitor traffic flow at strategic locations. A permanent traffic flow counter is £5,000 and will be funded from existing budgets.

    Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

    18. This report provides an opportunity to improve air quality and protect public health. The Action Plan will also provide opportunity to explore and generate sustainable options for transport to reduce in transport emissions.

    Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

    19. Section 82 of the Environment Act 1995 places a duty on all Local Authorities to review periodically air quality in their area. This includes assessment of compliance of present and likely future air quality to comply with the objectives of the Air Quality (Wales) Regulations 2010.

    20. Where air quality is unlikely to meet the statutory objectives, Section 83 of the Environment Act 1995 requires the Council by Order designate an Air Quality Management Area. This draft Order is attached at Appendix E.

    21. Section 84 of the Environment Act 1995 places a duty on the Council to consult with the public and stakeholder and to develop and implement an Action Plan to address the situation

    22. To decide not to declare an AQMA would require appropriate evidence to the contrary, i.e. there is no risk of exceedence of the nitrogen dioxide annual average limit.

    23. Subject to Cabinet approval of the recommendations, the Air Quality Management Order will be finaised, affixed with the Council's seal and attested by the Council's signatory. A copy of the Order must then be sent to WG and publicised locally.

    Crime and Disorder Implications

    24. None

    Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

    25. There are no negative implications concerning equal opportunities from the designation of the area. The declaration is intended to improve air quality for all residents.

    Corporate/Service Objectives

    26. This report is consistent with the following Corporate and Service objectives of the Council: Community Well Being - to make the Vale a safe and healthy place in which individuals, children and families can live their lives to the full.

    Policy Framework and Budget

    27. This report is for Executive decision

    Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

    28. A stakeholder and public consultation exercise was carried out between January and March 2013 as detailed in the report. This included consultation with local members.

    Relevant Scrutiny Committee

    29. Housing and Public Protection, Economy & Environment

    Background Papers

    Air Quality Management Report (C1908 refers)

    Contact Officer

    Kristian James, Team Leader Pollution Control, Public Protection

    Officers Consulted

    Operational Manager, Legal Service

    Principal Finance Officer, Rob Ingram

    Responsible Officer:

    Rob Thomas, Director or Development Service

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