‘Fears’ of air pollution continue in village

Alistair Hopper 1
Alistair Hopper 1

A Storrington resident claims that ‘fears’ of air pollution have continued in the village as a plan for 75 homes looms.

Alistair Hopper, a member of action group ‘Fighting For Our Fields’ (FFOF), claimed that the Water Lane development, and possible others in the pipeline, would ‘increase health problems for elderly residents and children’ in the area and were against EU regulations.

“Increasing the existing population of 5,000 Storrington residents by 225 (75 houses each with three occupants) plus those who will occupy Milton Grange and the various retirement developments, will only serve to increase these already excessive levels,” Mr Hopper said.

This follows a Horsham District Council (HDC) development meeting on October 15. Councillors fought passionately to oppose the application to build 75 homes on land north of Brook Close and Rother Close in Storrington, with an access point from Water Lane, but planning officers warned that without ‘hard evidence’ to oppose it the council could incur costs for delaying the process. Councillors delegated the decision to officers, with a view to it being refused.

Mr Hopper said further developments - new retirement homes and sheltered housing in central Storrington - and 75 more houses, would increase health problems for elderly residents and children.

“One would think twice before moving to a retirement home in Storrington.”

In October 2012, HDC published the Storrington Air Quality Action Plan in an attempt to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 26 per cent by 2020. In April, the technical review team was also looking into the feasibility of restrictions on heavy goods vehicles, instating a low-emission zone, a traffic light system during peak congestion periods, and improved signage on the surrounding road network.

Mr Hopper said: “The report highlights that outdoor concentrations of nitrogen dioxide can increase the sensitivity of asthmatics to allergens and therefore increase the likelihood of asthma attacks.” He claimed that a recent survey by the FFOF in Water Lane showed that traffic movements of private cars and goods vehicles in and out of the road would increase significantly if the 75-home scheme went ahead.

On November 19, HDC and planning officers further discussed the Water Lane application at a development meeting, but excluded the press and public. A spokeswoman for HDC said she was not in a position to go into any further details and that the application would be presented to HDC’s development meeting in the near future.