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Air quality fears raised by parents around plans for new village school

PUBLISHED: 12:00 30 September 2018

Graphic showing what the new Trowse Primary School could look like. Picture: NPS Group

Graphic showing what the new Trowse Primary School could look like. Picture: NPS Group

NPS Group

Plans for a new school in a Norfolk village have prompted air quality fears from parents.

Norfolk County Council has unveiled plans to build Trowse Primary School a new site in the village, allowing it to expand its intake to 210 children.

However, parents of children currently at the school have raised concerns that the location chosen will pose a health risk for pupils in years to come.

Their fears are around the air quality of the site, with the new location sitting closer to A47 traffic thank the existing school on Dell Loke.

The plans for the new school place it on a hectare of land off White Horse Lane and is designed to ease strain as the village grows.

However, parents at the school, including Laura Middleton, have raised fears that its proximity to main roads including the A47 will make air pollution levels at the school unacceptable.

Ms Middleton, 40, whose eight-year-old daughter attends Trowse Primary, said: “There is real concern around air pollution from several of us parents at the school.

“When the plans were first shown to us we raised our worries and were told they would be considered in the application, but I don’t feel we have been listened to.”

An 36-page air quality report submitted with the application does acknowledge emissions from both the A47 and the A146, but predicts pollutant concentrations would be “well below” air quality objectives and “acceptable for the development of a school”.

It says: “The impacts of local traffic on the air quality have been shown to be acceptable across the entire development site, with concentrations being well below the air quality objectives.

“This conclusion takes account of the uncertainties in future projections, in particular for nitrogen dioxide, and is based on the concentrations of all pollutions being well below the objective.”

However, Ms Middleton said the feeling among parents was that the report was “short-sighted” and that it did not take into account the difference in breathing habits between children and adults.

She added: “The report does not even mention children - they are particularly vulnerable to the damaging effects of air pollution because their lungs are growing.”

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