Malton Air Pollution

NEW: Response from Simon Thackray to NYCC consultation on ‘experimental’ 7.5 tonnes weight limit over Norton level crossing. Supporting information contains shocking revelation of misinterpreted figures and dubious claims made by RDC and NYCC in original Brambling Fields scheme reports to members of both councils.

NEWNYCC public consultation responses 2016

re HCV restriction over Norton On Derwent level crossing (1-34).

Report by Ryedale District Council (Feb. 2016) HCV restriction over Norton level crossing.

Malton Air Quality Steering Group minutes of meeting 15 October 2015.

HGV restriction - level crossing Norton ON Derwent 2016

NYCC proposed HGV restriction over the level crossing in Norton 2016

The HCV (variously called HGV, then HDV and now HCV) restriction (plan above) was originally intended to be implemented in 2013 as part of the Brambling Fields junction upgrade scheme (six months after the opening of the new junction in September 2012). The restriction was, and is, considered necessary to remove the most polluting HCV vehicles from the centre of Malton in order to realise the air quality improvements in the Malton AQMA (Air Quality Management Area), which , in turn, was (and is) required to facilitate the development aspirations of the Ryedale Plan.

The HCV (HGV / HDV) restriction has still not been implemented – four years since the opening of the Brambling Fields junction. The HCV restriction is the single most important action (after the construction of Brambling Fields junction upgrade) of the legally binding Malton Air Quality Action Plan 2012.

The proposed HCV restriction is known to be unpopular with some sectors of the business community (note that only TWO HCV operators have responded to the latest NYCC consultation) whose views, to date, have been allowed by NYCC and RDC, to take precedence over the health of the people of Malton. These negative views are not in the least surprising because the HCV restriction throws a spotlight onto the wholly inadequate highway infrastructure that exists in Malton. There are two direct road access junctions ‘missing’ in Malton which prevent HCVs (and ordinary vehicles) from gaining direct access onto the A64. The road network in and around Malton is a cock-up and getting worse with every new development approved by Ryedale District Council Planning Committee.

The links below were included here originally for the benefit of NYCC elected members and directors so they could read the relevant documents that underpin the Brambling Fields junction upgrade scheme. The scheme was, first and foremost, designed to reduce the level of air pollution in Malton (carcinogenic Nitrogen Dioxide) but languishes, incomplete and embarrassing, despite the opening of the junction in September 2012 and despite the £6,000,000 (six million pounds) of public money spent – our money – and despite the shocking revelation that the small fluctuations in air quality in Malton are unrelated to the brambling Fields scheme. There is a growing list of questions to answer…

The Malton Air Quality Action Plan 2012 sets out the ‘actions’ that should have been carried out by RDC to improve air quality in the Malton Air Quality Management Area. The law (funny thing the law) required (requires) Ryedale District Council to implement the actions in the shortest possible time. This is a legal obligation which is currently being ignored, and about which, the UK government has just been taken to the Supreme Court (decision pending as I write). 

Ryedale District Council LAQM USA 2015 is the annual report of the council that gets submitted to to DEFRA. DEFRA draws a few circles on it and uses it as a dart-board in the staff room. This includes all you need to know about the failure of the Brambling Fields ‘varnish’ to do what it says on the tin.  (“Take that wood stain and don’t darken my door again!” Hovis Presley 1960 – 2005). This document details the nil-reduction in traffic movements through Butcher Corner, Malton due to the failure of RDC and NYCC to introduce the HGV ban over the level crossing. Naughty, naughty!

The new Brambling Fields junction referred to above was built at a cost of £6 million pounds to reduce the illegal concentration of invisible, odourless, life-threatening Nitrogen Dioxide being breathed-in by the people of Malton, Norton, Old Malton and visitors to the town. Tourists beware – you can’t smell NO2 but it can certainly kill you.

Please do not confuse the above issue with the smell of shit that is to be enjoyed in the centre of Malton and at Butcher Corner. The following poem deals with that!

Poem For Malton 

When Google adds a smell dear,
To maps of heaven and hell dear,
It will start in Malton for sure dear,
Where the reek of raw sewage is strong.

It will plot a route through blue bells,
Up Spital and Finkle and Saville’s,
To the Broughton Rise-early and live-wells,
And the gag of a freshly baked pong.

If the sewer gives forth its gasses,
Up the Friday night skirts of the lasses,
And the frock of the vicar as he passes,
Don’t blame it on the poor.

It was not she that broke wind sir,
It was the rot underneath her,
The brown glory of Golgotha,
That stole her wings and killed her.

Give thanks to Yorkshire Water,
Proud sponsors of Le Tour de…
You hide your money in your garter,
That you robbed from the poor.

You have Robin Hood reversed us,
Flushed us down and immersed us,
In the stench of death and cursed us,
With greed and rank and worse ‘cause…

From the suet to the sewer sir,
This is the Food Festival bloater,
Back to haunt like a floater,
In the porcelain of the doer.

Anon (National Poetry Day, 8 October 2015).

“Private car use can lead to large volumes of traffic on the roads.”
Malton Air Quality Action Plan 2012, Page 20.

Traffic congestion, Butcher Corner, Malton, North Yorkshire, September 2015.

Traffic congestion, Butcher Corner, Malton, September 2015.

NEW: Letter from Simon Thackray to G. Housden, Ryedale District Council
OBJECTION
to Planning Application 14/00678/MOUTE

(Horizontal lines denote individual pages of document).

2 September 2015

Mr G. Housden,
Head of Planning and Housing,
Ryedale District Council,
Ryedale House,
MALTON
YO17 7HH

Dear Mr. Housden,

14/00678/MOUTE

Comments of Environmental Protection Officer

I am writing in response to the recently published comments of the EPO regarding the Air Quality Assessment, and revised Air Quality Assessment, submitted in support of the FME High Malton application 14/00678/MOUTE.

OBJECT to the application on environmental grounds.

In the following pages I explain my reasons and provide evidence in support of my assertion that the application conflicts with the requirements of Para.124 of the NPPF and the objectives of the Malton Air Quality Action Plan 2012.

Objection summary:

  1. The High Malton development of 500 houses would, if approved, have a negative effect on air quality in the Malton AQMA resulting in the AQMA failing to comply with EU limit values for Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), in conflict with Para.124 of the NPPF.
  2. The revised Air Quality Assessment submitted by the applicant has failed to calculate the cumulative impact on air quality from individual sites in the area in conflict with Para.124 of the NPPF.
  3. The development would undermine the objectives of the Malton Air Quality Action Plan 2012 (Action 8), ‘requiring development proposals within or adjoining the Malton Air Quality Management Area to demonstrate how effects on air quality will be mitigated and further human exposure to poor air quality reduced.’

Reasons and evidence:

National Planning Policy Framework

Para. 124.

Planning policies should sustain compliance with and contribute towards EU limit values or national objectives for pollutants taking into account the presence of Air Quality Management Areas and the cumulative impacts on air quality from individual sites in local areas. Planning decisions should ensure that any new development in Air Quality Management Areas is consistent with the local air quality action plan.

NPPF Guidance on Air Quality
Paragraph: 001 Reference ID: 32-001-20140306:

Why should planning be concerned about air quality?

‘Action to manage and improve air quality is largely driven by EU legislation. The 2008 Ambient Air Quality Directive sets legally binding limits for concentrations in outdoor air of major air pollutants that impact public health …such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2)’.

Since FME submitted a revised AQA for High Malton in February 2015, the planning guidance of Environmental Protection UK (EPUK) has been updated.

The EPO refers to the revised document in his latest response, and briefly notes criticism of the 2010 guidance which ‘”many experts felt was flawed”. (EPO: Page 3, Para 3, Point 3, Assessment of Impact).

Whilst the EPUK 2015 update has sought to provide greater clarity for planners, it also expresses uncertainty about the ‘role of the development control process in delivering compliance with the EU limit values’:

Land-Use Planning & Development Control: Planning For Air Quality, May 2015. Page 27, note 35:

“The precise role of the development control process in delivering compliance with the EU limit values is uncertain, and clarification has been sought from Defra. Until unambiguous clarification from a Government department is provided on this matter, which confirms that any increase in concentration should not be permitted where an EU limit value is not met, then the precise extent to which an impact may need to be regarded as a significant effect in this context and in such areas is unclear.”

The EPO also expresses uncertainty with ‘regard to the reliability of the model outputs’ of the High Malton AQA.

EPO comments Page 2, Para. 4:

The modeled NO2 concentrations, which are detailed in Table 6 of the assessment report, are predictions that depend on the interaction of many variables and there is therefore uncertainty with regard to the reliability of the model outputs. This is because of the possibility of systematic error, which may arise from a range of the model input factors, including: traffic volume data; traffic speed, vehicle fleet composition; and meteorological conditions.


EPO comments Page 1, Paragraph 4 suggest both a fall and a rise in NO2:

The AQIA predicts that annual mean NO2 levels will fall at all the existing sensitive receptors considered in the assessment, irrespective of whether or not the proposed development goes ahead and is fully operational by 2019. However, the proposed development would result in NO2 levels at all sensitive receptors being higher than would be the case if it did not go ahead.

Not only does the FME High Malton AQA predict an increase in levels of NO2 in the Malton AQMA in breach of EU limit values, it also fails to calculate and account for the ‘cumulative impacts on air quality from individual sites in the local area’. The revised FME High Malton AQA not only conflicts with Para. 124 of the NPPF, it is also an incomplete assessment.

124.

Planning policies should sustain compliance with and contribute towards EU limit values or national objectives for pollutants taking into account the presence of Air Quality Management Areas and the cumulative impacts on air quality from individual sites in local areas. Planning decisions should ensure that any new development in Air Quality Management Areas is consistent with the local air quality action plan.

To comply fully with Paragraph 124 above, the FME High Malton AQA must calculate the cumulative impact of NO2 emissions from the High Malton development on the air quality in the Malton AQMA, when combined with (added to) the NO2 emissions from all individual sites in the local area. 

The FME High Malton AQA does not provide this information.

‘Individual sites in the local area’ should include the application site itself, sites recently completed or under construction (i.e. Broughton Manor), sites recently applied for and approved (i.e. Showfield), added to the predicted NO2 emissions from the estimated number of houses proposed and / or forecast to be built in Malton and Norton over the lifetime of the Ryedale Plan.

Without knowing the ‘cumulative impact’ data, taking into account ALL development sites in Malton and Norton, the true impact of the proposed development on future NO2 levels is, at best, ‘wishful thinking’. This lack of information about the cumulative impact of the High Malton development conflicts with Para. 124 of the NPPF.


The updated ‘Land-Use Planning & Development Control’ document, to which the EPO refers, includes guidance on the size of developments that should be taken into account when assessing the cumulative impact:

Land-Use Planning & Development Control: Planning For Air Quality, May 2015. Page 14. Para 5.8:

An approach that is commonly used is to consider only “major” developments, such as defined within the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) Order (England) 2010 [(Wales) 2012]. These include developments where:

The number of dwellings is 10 or above

The EPO refers to Malton Air Quality Action Plan 2012

MAQAP Page 31, Action 8:

The planning and air quality functions of local authorities should be carried out in close cooperation.

Requiring development proposals within or adjoining the Malton Air Quality Management Area to demonstrate how effects on air quality will be mitigated and further human exposure to poor air quality reduced.

Malton Air Quality Action Plan 2012, Action 8 continues:

As part of the site selection through the Local Plan, traffic modelling will be undertaken of potential sites in Malton and Norton. All development proposals within or near to the Air Quality Management Area which are likely to impact upon air quality; which are sensitive to poor air quality or which would conflict with any Air Quality Action Plan will be accompanied by an Air Quality Assessment.

The Malton Air Quality Action Plan 2012 requires that a development must

‘Demonstrate how effects on air quality will be mitigated and further human exposure to poor air quality reduced’.

Notwithstanding the long list of mitigation measures proposed by the applicant, including the gift of personal attack alarms to the future occupants of High Malton (to embolden residents to walk into town), the High Malton AQA calculates an increase in NO2 in the Malton AQMA in breach of EU limit values, thus increasing further human exposure to poor air quality.

House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee Action on Air Quality Sixth Report of Session 2014–15 Introduction 1.3:

Dr Ian Mudway of King’s College London:

“The negative health impacts associated with pollution have become more robust”, and the WHO research indicated that “there are significant health effects below our limit values, and so not attaining our limit values should be seen in a very negative light. They are not a magic barrier we have to cross – they are our minimum expectations to protect public health.”


The aims and objectives of the Ryedale Plan and the Malton Air Quality Action Plan 2012 are interdependent but have not delivered the predicted reduction in traffic volumes passing through the Malton AQMA required to facilitate the level of development identified in the Ryedale Plan.

The Malton Air Quality Action Plan 2012 predicted that the Brambling Fields junction upgrade (together with the implementation of complementary measures) would lead to a reduction in traffic passing through Butcher Corner in the Malton AQMA by (up to) 33%.

In fact, the Brambling Fields £6 million pounds junction upgrade has delivered only a 2% reduction. This is a serious miscalculation by any standards, and to rub precious winter-maintenance-salt into the wound, RDC’s most recent air quality report questions whether the Brambling Fields junction upgrade has had any improving effect on air quality at all.

Ryedale District Council LAQM USA 2015

8 Implementation of the Malton AQMA Action Plan

Page 48:

At Butcher Corner there is no pre-opening data available to compare with post-opening flows. However, since 2012 there has been a small but potentially significant reduction in overall traffic movements and of HGV traffic at the junction. There is approximately 2% less traffic passing through the junction (250 movements per day) and approximately 7% less HGV movements (40 movements per day). However, as the counts conducted at Butcher Corner are for a single day each year, the data will not reflect any daily fluctuations.

Although air quality monitoring data shows a continuing reduction in NO2 levels across all the monitoring sites, there is no conclusive evidence that improved air quality can be attributed to the opening of the Brambling Fields junction upgrade.

The discrepancy between the objectives and the outcomes of the Malton Air Quality Action Plan (on which Para. 124 of the NPPF depends for delivering national air quality policy at a local level), suggest that the Malton Air Quality Action Plan 2012 predictions are so far wide of the mark that the Malton Air Quality Action Plan requires complete revision.

The Ryedale Plan identifies a level of development based on the predicted improvements to Malton air quality resulting from the Brambling Fields junction upgrade and the implementation of relatively inexpensive complementary measures. This would now appear to be impossible.


Malton Air Quality Action Plan 2012

Action 1 – A64 Brambling Fields Interchange – Junction Improvements

The scheme will be undertaken by the Highways Agency under a funding agreement with NYCC and RDC. The A64 Brambling Fields Grade Separated Junction improvement, incorporating a new eastbound slip road is designed to provide an alternative route for traffic travelling on the A64 from the west to gain access to Norton and destinations to the south of Malton and Norton without having to travel through the Malton AQMA. Figure 8 shows a location plan of the scheme. The junction improvements will also provide an alternative route for local traffic to travel between Malton and Norton allowing avoidance of the heavily congested Butcher Corner signalised junction in the AQMA and the railway level crossing between Malton and Norton, closure of which results in queuing back along Castlegate, through the AQMA, to Butcher Corner.

In conjunction with a number of related complementary measures, the scheme is expected to reduce traffic volumes passing through Butcher Corner by up to 33% and to reduce the number of vehicles queuing in the AQMA as they wait to travel through Butcher Corner and/or over the railway crossing.

To compound this issue, the ‘related complementary measures’, described as ‘critical’ in the Ryedale Plan in order to facilitate the required level of development over the life of the Plan, have not been implemented.

See attached: 

Ryedale Plan – Table 2 Critical Improvements To Physical Infrastructure (Pages 102 and 103).


Ryedale Plan Page 102

Ryedale Plan Page 102

 


 

Ryedale Plan Page 103

Ryedale Plan Page 103

 


Malton Air Quality Action Plan 2012, Page 41.
7 – Evaluation and Prioritisation of Proposed Action Plan Measures.
Table 16: List of Action Plan Measures and Rankings.

Malton Air Quality Action Plan 2012 - Action priorities

Malton AQAP – Action priorities

 


Ryedale District Council LAQM USA 2015

Table 8.1: Action Plan Implementation Progress Summary.

MaltonAQAP2012_Progress2015_Page51

Malton AQAP Progress 2015 P.51

 


 

MaltonAQAP2012_Progress2015_Page52

Malton AQAP Progress 2015 P.52

 


 

MaltonAQAP2012_Progress2015_Page53

Malton AQAP Progress 2015 P.53

 


 

MaltonAQAP2012_Progress2015_Page54

Malton AQAP Progress 2015 P.54

 


 

MaltonAQAP2012_Progress2015_Page55

Malton AQAP Progress 2015 P.55

 


 

MaltonAQAP2012_Progress2015_Page56

Malton AQAP Progress 2015 P.56

 

Ryedale Plan – Local Plan Strategy

6:5

There are three categories of infrastructure identified in the IDP – Critical, Stage 1 necessary and Stage 2 necessary.


Critical infrastructure – that which is critical to delivering this Strategy – is set out in Table 2. The critical improvements that are required for this Strategy are the additional slip at Brambling Fields on the A64 at Norton, the traffic management measures in Malton and Norton which ensure the proper use of Brambling Fields and a number of internal junction improvements in Malton and Norton. In order to ensure the timely delivery of this project and in view of its critical importance to the planned growth of Malton and Norton, Ryedale District Council and North Yorkshire County Council have agreed to ‘front’ fund the major part of the cost for this project. Construction started in 2012 and was completed before the end of the year. This ensures that the most significant element of critical infrastructure for this Strategy will be delivered at the start of the Plan Period. The funding for this project will be recouped from developer contributions.

Ryedale Plan – Local Plan Strategy

Page 22 / 23

Aspirations and Strategy – Malton & Norton

3:19

There are clear local aspirations for strategic transport improvements that will address congestion and improve connectivity between the towns. The Highways Authority, North Yorkshire County Council, has identified a range of strategic transport improvements which would help address these issues.

These include: a junction at the A64 in the Broughton Road area; improvements to the A64 Brambling Fields junction, a second Rail/River crossing from York Road to the Woolgrowers site; improvements to the A64 junction at Musley Bank and a Scarborough Road to Beverley Road link. However, the estimated cost of these improvements runs in excess of £60 million.

Depending on the specific selection and choice of new development sites, it is considered that the level of development identified for this Plan-Period can be accommodated based on the Brambling Fields junction improvement together with a package of associated traffic management measures, improvement to junctions within the internal network and improved cycling and pedestrian facilities.

Further strategic transport improvements will be required to support the growth of the towns in the longer term and will be the subject of reviews of this Plan and future choices over the location and scale of growth, together with the availability of funding and agreement with the Highways Agency.


Section 6

Page 103.

Physical Infrastructure and Community Facilities.

6.4

The Council has consulted extensively with key service and utility providers to identify the particular improvements that will be required to support new development under this Strategy. This has been incorporated into an Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP), which supports this Strategy and sets out in detail what improvements are needed to accommodate the development proposed. The IDP makes clear how important each piece of infrastructure is to the delivery of this Strategy, what risks there are to it being put in place and what contingency is available. A summarised version of this is reflected in the tables in this chapter.

High Malton 14/00678/MOUTE

Conclusion:

The High Malton development of 500 houses would, if approved, have a negative effect on air quality in the Malton AQMA, resulting in the AQMA failing to comply with EU limit values for Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), in conflict with Para.124 of the NPPF.

The revised Air Quality Assessment submitted by the applicant has failed to calculate the cumulative impact on air quality from individual sites in the area in conflict with Para.124 of the NPPF.

The proposed development would undermine the objectives of the Malton Air Quality Action Plan 2012 (Action 8), ‘requiring development proposals within or adjoining the Malton Air Quality Management Area to demonstrate how effects on air quality will be mitigated and further human exposure to poor air quality reduced.’

Through my detailed study of the Malton Air Quality Action Plan and the various air quality reports available, a significant problem has emerged. Namely, that the action plan has either not delivered its predicted outcomes or has not been implemented. The plan has not achieved its objectives and certain actions have been ignored completely.

The Malton Air Quality Action Plan has failed to deliver the outcomes prescribed in the plan and failed to meet its Action target delivery deadlines. As an experienced promoter, I do not accept that the uploading of information to the RDC website satisfies an action to raise public awareness (AP7), the objective of which is intended to “raise public awareness of the need to improve air quality and build support of Action Plan measures.”
RDC and NYCC must raise their game to increase public awareness of the dangers to health posed by the NO2 pollution in Malton.


I appreciate that this message is not the Welcome to Ryedale that many members would like to promote, but it is, nevertheless, the truth, and is high time to pay attention to the real needs of local people.

Important ‘complementary measures’ (AP2), considered critical to reduce the level of NO2 in the Malton AQMA (and deliver the known health benefits) have been put-off for three years for inexplicable (and, I believe, inexcusable) reasons. The Malton Air Quality Action Plan, whilst promising much, has failed to deliver, which means that the requirements of Para.124 of the NPPF cannot be met using the current Malton Air Quality Action Plan.

Para.124 of the NPPF states clearly that ‘planning decisions should ensure that any new development in Air Quality Management Areas is consistent with the local air quality action plan’. The Malton Air Quality Action Plan 2012 has proved itself an inconsistent and inaccurate tool and therefore the planning department cannot possibly predict, with any degree of accuracy, the impact of future development on air quality in Malton and Norton based on this plan.

For all the above reasons, and to protect the health of the residents of Malton and Norton,
application High Malton 14/00678/MOUTE should be refused.

Yours sincerely,

Simon Thackray

Cc: Cllr. Linda Cowling, Leader of Ryedale District Council,
Cllr. John Windress, Chairman of Ryedale Planning Committee,
Cllr. Lindsay Burr, NYCC,
Cllr. Val Arnold, NYCC,
The Editor, Malton and Pickering Mercury
The Editor, Gazette & Herald
The Editor, The Press
The Editor, Yorkshire Post

Read the documents relating to application 14/00678/MOUTE online via the Ryedale Planning Portal.

[END]



Client EarthThe Clean Air Handbook
A practical guide to EU air quality law.
By Alan Andrews. 2014.

Clean Air Handbook


Brambling Fields Junction – Information Leaflet
Produced in 2013 by NYCC and Ryedale District Council.
(Traffic in Malton Town Centre reduced by 0 – 2% since the £6 million pound junction opened in 2012.)

Brambling Fields, Norton, Malton - Cost £6 million


House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee

Action on Air Quality
Sixth Report of Session 2014–15
Report, together with formal minutes relating to the report

http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/environmental-audit/HC-212-for-web.pdf

Action on Air Quality Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 14.38.28


House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee
Action on Air Quality:
Government Response to the Committee’s Sixth Report of Session 2014 – 15.
Twelfth Special Report of Session 2014 – 15

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmselect/cmenvaud/1083/1083.pdf


Planning Inspectorate – Appeal Decision
Inquiry held on 31 March 2015 Site visit made on 1 April 2015
by Louise Phillips MA (Cantab) MSc MRTPI
Decision date: 2 July 2015
Appeal Ref: APP/D3830/A/14/2226987 Land at London Road, Hassocks

Planning Appeal dismissal 2015


 

Supreme Court ruling – Press Summary:

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
Parliament Square London SW1P 3BD

29 April 2015 PRESS SUMMARY

R (on the application of ClientEarth)
(Appellant) v Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
(Respondent) [2015] UKSC 28
On appeal from [2012] EWCA Civ 897

JUSTICES: Lord Neuberger (President), Lord Mance, Lord Clarke, Lord Sumption, Lord Carnwath

https://www.supremecourt.uk/decided-cases/docs/UKSC_2012_0179_PressSummary.pdf


Ryedale District Council web page – Air Quality (Last updated 12 June).

http://www.ryedale.gov.uk/services/environment-waste/pollution/air-quality.html

(Links to RDC air quality report documents etc. at bottom of page)


BBC News

“Court orders UK to cut NO2 air pollution”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-32512152

FT

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/e25c9262-ee51-11e4-88e3-00144feab7de.html#axzz3g2ygxRfR

Guardian

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/apr/29/supreme-court-orders-uk-to-draw-up-air-pollution-cleanup-plan

 

Background to Malton air quality problem.

Malton suffers from serious traffic congestion, resulting in harmful concentrations of Nitrogen Dioxide in the breathable air. The residents of Malton and Norton, and those people and tourists who visit the town, are exposed to harmful levels of the pollutant NO2. Malton is one of only two towns in the whole of North Yorkshire with a serious, and officially declared, pollution problem. The genie is out of the bottle, and future development in Malton and Norton is threatened by the failure of Ryedale District Council and North Yorkshire County Council to properly address the problem. Has the pollution message fallen on deaf ears? or been hidden behind a basket of flowers? You can make up your own mind. You can’t see Nitrogen Dioxide but it kills you.

Malton Air Pollution

Say it with flowers! Malton anti-pollution road sign, 10 June 2015.

Malton hanging basket of flowers 2015

The hanging baskets of Malton Town, 3 September 2015. © Simon Thackray 2015.

Malton (self-proclaimed Food Capital Of Yorkshire) has the worst air quality in Ryedale, polluted by Nitrogen Dioxide (a by-product of emissions from diesel engines). Malton’s air quality fails to meet EU limit values for concentration of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), which kills 29,000 people each year in the UK. NO2 causes cancer, asthma and cardiovascular disease and damages the developing lungs of young children.


 

Watch a short film for some light relief!

NEW Ryedale Flood Defence – 3D Working Model

Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 09.38.30


 

Letter to Ryedale District Council Planning Committee members 16 July 2015:

“Dear Councillors,

Air quality – impact of UK Supreme Court ruling 29 April 2015

The subject of air quality in Ryedale is rarely discussed. However, due to Malton being one of only three towns in North Yorkshire with an Air Quality Monitoring Area, it is right to blow the dust off the file from time to time and reassess its implications – especially now.

I wish to draw your attention, in your capacity as members of the Ryedale Planning Committee, to two recently published documents relating to the UK’s breach of air quality legislation and failure to reduce the concentration of Nitrogen Dioxide in the breathable air.

In addition to both the recent Environmental Audit Committee, Action on Air Quality report and Government Response to the recommendations contained in that report, is a UK Supreme Court ruling of 29 April 2015, that has placed the UK government on notice. It must update its air quality plans to effectively reduce the concentration of Nitrogen Dioxide pollution and to deliver its updated plans by 31 December 2015.

The ruling states: “The new Government, whatever its political complexion, should be left in no doubt as to the need for immediate action to address this issue.”

Previous deadlines to meet its obligations to reduce levels of NO2 in the UK have been missed – in both 2005, and in 2010. NO2 is still in breach of EU limit values and must be reduced. Metaphorically, the UK Supreme Court has spoken into a loud hailer, “Come in number 9, your time is up.”

The Supreme Court ruling will almost certainly impact on Ryedale (in particular Malton and Norton), and therefore RDC’s ability to deliver the objectives of the Ryedale Local Plan. Please read the reports and recommendations and the summary of the Supreme Court ruling.

Ryedale District Council website has an excellent air quality information page with links to RDC’s own Air Quality Action Plan and Air Quality Monitoring reports. The subject is a little complicated at first glance but, despite it being generally under the radar, it is a very critical issue to get to grips with, and get right.

A good entry point into the subject of UK NO2 pollution is the BBC report on the Supreme Court ruling of 29 April. There are also reports from the FT, Guardian, Telegraph. Whichever media you choose, they all say the same thing. I have added a link to various articles at the bottom of this email.

Yours sincerely,

Simon


Letter of objection to Planning Application 14/00678/MOUTE on grounds of impact on air quality. Objection to RDC planning application 14/00678/MOUTE


Letter to the editors: Malton Gazette and Malton and Pickering Mercury, 15 July 2015

Going up (in a puff of smoke)

Smoking cigarettes was once hailed as a cure for a sore throat. Nobody dreamt that it would one day be found to cause cancer. So too with cars.

Until very recently, we were encouraged to buy diesel. We were promised more MPG from a clean-burning fuel that was better for the environment. Only the last part was rubbish.

It is now well known that emissions from diesel cars, vans and wagons, react with Ozone to create Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) that causes cancer and cardiovascular disease and asthma. Once again, we’ve been framed!

Many people are still unaware that Malton We Love is one of the most NO2 polluted towns in North Yorkshire and yet Ryedale is still hell-bent, for economic reasons, on ramming more and more housing development, traffic and toxic emissions into Malton.

A current Fitzwilliam (Malton) Estate planning application acknowledges that its New Malton development will increase air pollution but includes a list of mitigating measures to offset the rise in NO2, reverse Global Warming, and combat anti-social behaviour at the same time. Welcome to High Malton – Twinned with Kyoto!

Simultaneously anticipating an increase in violent crime, as well as acid rain, the applicant has pledged to provide future occupants of High Malton with “personal attack alarms and also umbrellas to encourage residents / employees to walk or cycle,” and “negotiate a discount for residents and employees of the development with cycle / outdoor-wear retailers”.

The list reads like a script from Have I Got News For You!

So, in future, do not be surprised, or startled, if you see Karate-chopping and Kimono-clad New Maltonians twirling Malton We Love branded umbrellas and coughing, or performing tea ceremonies, in the aisles at Lidl.

It was always part of the plan.”


 

Learn more about Ryedale District Council Air Quality monitoring here: