Will Kingston Council allow killer air pollution across the Borough?
Tonight, the Place Committee of Kingston Council will vote to approve or reject an Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) for the Borough. Full Council will consider the plan on 20 July 2021
I believe that the plan is legally non-compliant and does not meet the requirements laid down by the Mayor of London for such plans. The officers of the council have also ignored the comments made at least by me about the legal failings of the plan saying that no comments were received about the council's statutory duties which is untrue:
You can read why I believe the Plan will not control pollution across our neighbourhoods in the face of massive planned development here
Here is a summary of the main failings of the plan:
This document does not appear to be legally compliant with the policies relating to air quality in the London Plan 2016 or the new London Plan 2019 (the “London Plan”) or with the national polices laid down in the National Planning Policy Framework 2019 (the “NPPF 2019”). It also does not meet the requirements, directions and priorities of the Mayor of London. I should stress that the Council has only provided a link to a draft AQAM which is not a satisfactory basis for analysis or consultation.
The AQAP does not provide evidence as required by legislation that it will help the council to meet legal requirements for air quality in the Borough. The Borough is already an Air Quality Management Area and is now facing large-scale demolition and construction activities in concentrated areas with existing communities over the next 20 years.
There are no actions for the need to enforce Air Quality Neutral in breach of the new London Plan Air Quality Policies SI 1 B2 and an area that is considered to be a high priority in the Kingston AQAP. The lack of action breaches NPPF 2019 170 d) and e) and policy 181 as well as London Plan 2019 Policy SI 1 1 a and b. These are serious breaches which imply that Kingston Council is not committed to its legal obligations of preventing new and existing development from contributing to an unacceptable risk of people being “adversely affected by unacceptable levels of air pollution”, of “improving local environmental conditions… such as air quality” (NPPF 2019 181) and preventing “a further deterioration of exiting poor air quality or delaying the date at which compliance will be achieved in areas that are currently in exceedance of legal limits” London Plan SI1a and SI1b.
You can read the Air Quality Action Plan here.
You can send comments on the plan to Henry.Yellop@kingston.gov.uk for the attention of the councillors attending the Place Committee.
You can also ask Mr Yellop to make your comments available to Full Council who will meet on 20 July 2021 to consider the Air Quality Action Plan.