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News Archive > General > Residents may be forced to move away

Residents may be forced to move away

By Natasha Swift 1st February 2017

Residents may be forced to move away
A390 AT HOLMBUSH: Increasing traffic causing pollution problems

FAMILIES in St Austell who are exposed to “unacceptably poor” air quality could be forced to sell their homes as part of Cornwall Council’s controversial plans to tackle pollution in the town.

Yesterday the local authority was due to discuss the compulsory purchase of properties in areas where air quality is “particularly poor” — like Holmbush — and relocating residents to other parts of Cornwall.

The entire area of St Austell was declared as an Air Quality Management Area in March 2014 due to higher pollution levels being found in several ‘hotspots’ across the town.

Areas which exceeded nitrogen dioxide objectives were  Holmbush  Road,  the  junction  at Edgecumbe Road and Truro Road where there are long delays at the traffic lights and around the double mini roundabout on Penwinnick Road.

As part of the Clean Air for Cornwall Strategy, an action plan for all seven Air Quality Management Areas in Cornwall — Camborne-Pool-Redruth, Truro, St Austell, Bodmin, Tideford and Gunnislake — has been put forward by the local authority.

Six potential projects to address pollution levels have been outlined in the document which was due to be discussed by councillors at a Communities Policy Advisory Committee meeting yesterday before going before cabinet members.

The council said: “In areas where air quality is particularly poor it can be very difficult to identify feasible and affordable measures that will provide any meaningful reduction in pollution levels.

“In the mean time residents are exposed to unacceptably poor air quality with little prospect of achieving the air quality objective before 2030 in some locations.

“This is a difficult situation to address and one that the council would not want to continue. Therefore one possible option could be to move residents away from the pollution.

“This is likely to be very controversial and carry a reputational risk, however it is felt that the option should be further explored rather than simply discounted.

“The project would involve development of land in a suitable nearby location to create a new neighbourhood where those exposed to the poorest air quality could be provided with a new property.

“This may be through compulsory purchase or an optional swap.”

The project would cost Cornwall Council several million pounds to implement but it said it would be considerably cheaper than a bypass which may be the only other option available to improve air quality.

The council said it would take further legal advice before making a decision.

Other suggestions include introducing a taxi licensing review, anti-idling enforcement which would see drivers fined for keeping the engine running in areas such as taxi ranks, train station car parks and by schools as well as getting the council’s “own house in order” via an Air Quality Programme, planning Air Quality Priority Areas, and carrying out a Clay Area Dust Review.

By Natasha Swift 1st February 2017

Oldandugly 1st February 2017 22:46
I get we have problems here in Cornwall & it would seem in particular St Austell. What with the air being poison & CLAIMS St Austell is the crime capital of Cornwall how many more public ways can we find to destroy both the county & the town! How bad dose it have to get & why do we seem unable or un-willing to tackle the issues! Cornwall is a beautiful county, St Austell apart from the shabby town centre (again more issues) is a lovely location & community. Do you not think ENOUGH, lets take the unpalatable decisions & do the right thing for once.
I´mstayingput 4th February 2017 11:17
Surely, as homeowners and residents we have the right to decide for ourselves if we live here or not. Suddenly, this Council cares for us. No money could be found to repair dangerous potholes on most of our roads around the county but here we are....millions of pounds to compulsory purchase our HOMES and shove us where we don´t wish to be.
As far as pollution is concerned what about the likes of the main cities. Will the Government move everyone out of the cities because of the air pollution from vehicles...Get real CCC and do what you are paid for. Run the County properly.
nothinghaschanged 7th February 2017 09:22
Holmbush has been a traffic bottleneck, with all the consequential air problems since the 1970s. That hasn´t stopped the council allowing more and nore development there continually drawing in more traffic and exacerbating the problem.
The solution a long time ago, and no doubt out of reach now, was to make St Austell an attractive easy place to visit. As it has developed it is neither so all the out of town areas, where there is very poor public transport are overrun with cars.
If they buy those homes, they will no doubt knock them down and make the road wider, continuing the problem.
Tony Pickup 8th February 2017 15:40
The Holmbush situation, caused by poor traffic signalling which gives too high a priority to vehicles entering the A390, could be rectified by introducing a one-way system. All west-bound traffic would continue to use Holmbush Road. East-bound traffic would turn left into Daniels Lane, right into Stennack Road, and right again into Bucklers Lane, before turning left back into Holmbush Road once more. This would do away with three sets of traffic lights (and the costs of their maintenance) at a stroke, and ensure a continuous flow of traffic in both westerly and easterly directions, punctuated only by the need for some pedestrian crossing lights. Air pollution would be exponentially lowered. When Lidl´s opens something will have to be done anyway. All this could be achieved without uprooting residents which arguably would cost more than the installation of the one-way system.
ratepayer 17th February 2017 15:11
Brilliant! Hats off to CCC for coming up with the most offensive, divisive and expensive ´solution´ to the pollution problem they have exacerbated by their own incompetent planning. Stick up a new Lidl bang next door to Tesco, double the traffic flow and then evict the residents! What could be simpler? Whoever came up with this wheeze deserves promotion. What a superb outfit we´ve got working for us!
Simon Jones 18th February 2018 08:49
How about tackling the actual cause of the problem, stopping people from being so irresponsible by pumping petrol and diesel deadly toxic poision into the air!! Electric vehicles do exist now days!!
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