Public health officers raise Anglia Square pollution concerns

How Anglia Square could look once the redevelopment is complete. Photo: Weston Homes

How Anglia Square could look once the redevelopment is complete. Photo: Weston Homes - Credit: Archant

Public health bosses have raised concerns over the levels of pollution in and around Anglia Square – and what that will mean for the people living in the homes at the revamped complex if it gets permission.

Housebuilder Weston Homes, along with landowner Columbia Threadneedle, have lodged plans with Norwich City Council for the ambitious revamp.

Consultation closed earlier this month, but public health bosses at Norfolk County Council missed the formal submission deadline.

However, they have still lodged their concerns with Norwich City Council over the development, which would include up to 1,250 new homes, a 25-storey tower, dozens of shops, a 200-bed hotel, 600-space car park and pedestrianised areas.

The project would see a minimum of 120 affordable homes, plus a £2.5m new base for Surrey Chapel, which would be demolished.

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But Phil Shreeve, advanced public health officer at Norfolk County Council, said: 'We are concerned that modelling of both current use and post-development use of the site indicates a number of locations which would fail to meet existing, never mind reduce current levels of, air quality standards in terms of nitrogen dioxide and also fall above current recommended World Health Organisation measures for PM10 [particulate matter].

'In some cases the modelling, suggests nitrogen dioxide levels may exceed hourly as well as annual mean figures. These hourly exceedances represent potential risks to people who may work or shop in the area, as well as pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.'

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Officers say, if permission is given, there should be ongoing monitoring of air quality during all phases of building and phased occupation, so plans and designs can be amended as needs be.

The developers, in documents lodged with City Hall, say there will be 'mechanical ventilation or whole house ventilation systems with filters'.

They say: 'Application of such mitigation measures should ensure that residents' indoor exposure to nitrogen dioxide is controlled to an acceptable level, whilst additional measures such as the use of electric vehicle charging points and the implementation of a travel plan would further reduce the impact of the proposals on air quality in the area.'

The proposals have sparked controversy, particularly over the height of the tower, with the Council for British Archaeology and Historic England both lodging objections.A final decision on whether to grant permission will rest with the city council's planning committee.

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