Agenda item

Air Quality Action Plan for Farrington Gurney and Temple Cloud

A report is attached. There will also be a presentation at the meeting.


Phil Mansfield, Head of Building Control and Public Protectionintroduced the report to the Panel. The following officers were present – Cathryn Brown Team Manager (Licensing and Environmental Protection); Aled Williams, Environmental Protection Manager; Rob Spalding, Senior Environmental Monitoring Officer and Tiago Roque, Public Protection Technical Officer. The officers gave a presentation which covered the following:


·  Update

·  Monitoring data – Temple Cloud

·  Monitoring data – Farrington Gurney

·  Public Consultation

·  How much the public supports the following measures regarding Air Quality in Temple Cloud

·  How much the public supports the following measures regarding Air Quality in Farrington Gurney

·  Criteria and Attribute Weighting

·  Temple Cloud overall preference against maximum possible score

·  Farrington Gurney overall preference against maximum possible score

·  Measures Proposed from the Consultation

·  Progress so far (Molly Close Footpath, Width Restriction in Temple Cloud)

·  Progress so far (Innovative Technologies)

·  Progress so far (Tree cutting and Speed restrictions)

·  Next Steps


Panel members made the following points and asked the following questions. Officer responses are shown in italics.


Councillor Wood, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods thanked the officers for the report and presentation. An officer explained that as environmental monitoring officers, they are consultees on planning developments over a certain size, this means we can comment and ensure developments are as sustainable as possible.


Councillor Walker asked about the shuttle scheme in Temple Cloud. The officer explained that north bound vehicles come into the village at speed and so

work would need to be done to see what it would look like.


Councillor Craig raised the following points. Officer responses shown in italics:


·  Regarding both locations – monitoring in August went in the opposite direction. A number of things can affect this such as temperature and wind conditions. There are also changes and renewal of vehicles over time. The solid line is a 3-year trend and can be a better indicator than short term data.

·  210 responses – how many homes are currently in the two areas? Temple Cloud – 550 houses. Farrington Gurney – 450 houses.

·  Both locations – there was a high response asking for influence over planning decisions. Unless there is planning policy around this, the Committee cannot give comments much weight. We work closely with planning officers and have the same Director now. Regarding an Air Quality Action plan – we are looking into an enhanced pool of planning conditions.


Councillor Born raised the following points. Officer response shown in italics:


·  The new Molly Lane footpath is a quick win and would allow people to walk away from the main road.

·  Regarding the innovative technology – what size area would a device cover? Innovative technology is not widely used and mainly used inside. The market is not flooded with options at the moment. The efficiency is 2/2.5 metres. This is for one type of technology only. We would need a certain amount of surface area for each unit – there are space and maintenance considerations.

·  Cutting the tree canopy – how do you balance with the positive effect trees have on pollution? We were asked to cut back trees on safety grounds. It is a difficult balance to cut back the tree canopy which allows better mixing of air dispersion but also keeping enough of a barrier.

·  Annual average monitoring must disguise daily peaks and troughs? There are peaks and troughs during the day which monthly monitoring does not pick up but when we are exceeding the annual average, the hourly average may also be exceeded. Our focus is on the annual average.


Councillor Wood (Cabinet Member) commented that the A37 is a narrow road with a school at one end and Doctor surgery at the other end. The innovative technology is short reach, but the issue is a localised one. We will try to get people to use the foot bypass as much as possible.


In response to a question from Councillor Walker, the officer explained that the innovative technology costs £14,000 per unit with additional maintenance and running costs (although this is only one supplier’s cost).


Councillor O’Brien commented that she was horrified by the levels in Temple Cloud and Farrington Gurney. She commented that the diverted footway and innovative technology – although good initiatives, are not really addressing the overall issue. The A37 runs through other villages (eg. Pensford) and it is a main artery road between the south and the M5 – it is not fit for purpose. Councillor Wood (Cabinet Member) stated that there is a level of frustration that a more dramatic approach cannot be taken. He stated that the WECA mayor had blocked the width restriction.


Councillor Hirst raised the following points. Officer responses shown in italics:


·  If all these measures succeed, what is the bottom line, what will the impact be on Air Quality? We want to see a reduction in NO2.

·  What is the level of confidence in deliverability? There is a nonlinear relationship in percentage reduction in emissions and air quality eg. NO2 levels are lower in the summer. We are doing vehicle counts to monitor the effects Covid has had on travel to understand the changing patterns.

·  Regarding the innovative technology – there is no independent evidence around this. We do not want an expensive white elephant. We may need to think in a more radical way – maybe about charging for high emission vehicles. We will be asking questions of the supplier/s.

Councillor Walker stated that, regarding the shuttle north bound, signalling could be used so lights change when a heavy vehicle is coming through.  The officer explained that Temple Cloud has high concentrations due to heavy vehicles not being able to pass each other causing a stop flow.


Councillor Born stated that there is an increasing body of knowledge which suggests that building new roads does not help overall.


Councillor Dr Kumar stated that the consultation was done Feb-May 2020 – there was less traffic in this period due to the lockdown. The officer explained that some drop in events were held before lockdown and we still had online and paper responses after lockdown had started. Residents have lived in the area for a long time and were able to give us their examples and experiences which were not just about the Feb-May period. They still had their views.


The Panel RESOLVED to note the progress and made comments which were noted by officers.


Supporting documents: