“Failure to cut air pollution could land politicians in court, warns UN health “

Unlike other nearby councils and Devon County Council, EDDC had yet to declare a climate emergency for the district, and CEO Mark Williams has already declared himself pessimistic about how and when EDDC can meet clean-up targets:

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2019/05/08/eddc-ceo-puts-new-majority-in-their-place-about-climate-crisis-wants-very-slow-change/

And will the inspector who hears the Sidford Business Park appeal pretend that an increase in heavy goods traffic through the village will not affect those living there, particularly the children and the elderly?

“Politicians could end up in court for failing to protect their citizens from air pollution, according to the UN’s top public health official.

Maria Neira compared the crisis over air pollution to the asbestos scandal, in which governments were accused of failing to act quickly enough to save lives despite knowing the risks.

In an interview with The Times, the director of the World Health Organisation’s Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health, said that delaying action on the sources of air pollution, such as road traffic and wood burning in urban areas, would cost thousands of lives.

She praised this newspaper’s Clean Air for All Campaign and supported our call for sales of new petrol and diesel cars to be banned by 2030.

Dr Neira said that she was particularly concerned by the damage air pollution does to children’s lungs and brains.

“We know that, 15 years from now, those who have been exposed to high levels of air pollution will suffer major consequences in their immune, digestive and nervous systems and their respiratory systems will be deficient. If this is the society we are preparing for our children we are all very irresponsible.”

She said that toxic air cut short the lives of 40,000 people a year in the UK and 400,000 across Europe and governments and local authorities needed to act quickly to tackle it “even if the measures are not very popular”.

“If you postpone [action] by one day it might be hundreds of lives,” she said.

“If you postpone it by one year it might be thousands of lives plus the cost of the health system and the cost in terms of quality of life from living with asthma.”

She urged politicians to think about the consequences to people’s health of delaying making tough decisions, such as reducing traffic in cities and investing in measures to encourage cycling.

“This is something every politician should ask himself or herself every morning if they say, ‘Instead of 2030 I will do it in 2040’. They should ask the WHO what does that mean in terms of affecting the health of the people and how many new cases of lung cancer. We can calculate that.

“The question here is how many of those lives, or reduction in quality of life, are you ready to absorb. They should inform the public of those consequences and face the risk of losing votes.”

She predicted that politicians who failed to act could be forced to defend their decisions in court.

“Look at the case of asbestos. At one point some politicians were taken to court — the ministry of health in France — because they were accused of [knowing] about the risk of asbestos and [they] didn’t do enough.

“I have the feeling in a few years from now this will be the case [for air pollution] and no politician will be able to say I didn’t know because we all knew and this information has been well-established.”

She added: “There are legal groups already working on this. They have patients and people who lost family members. I can perfectly see the scenario of politicians being accused by our citizens saying, ‘You knew it, you didn’t do anything, therefore you are responsible for the number of deaths that have occurred.’”

She referred to the High Court ruling last month that a new inquest should be held into the death of a nine-year-old girl who suffered a fatal asthma attack believed to have been linked to illegal levels of air pollution near her home in London.

“Look at the case of Ella Kissi-Debrah, this might be a beginning. If you talk to legal groups, the number of cases now going to court is increasing. It might be that in the next few years it increases exponentially.”

The government has already been defeated three times in court by Client Earth, the campaign group which successfully argued that air quality plans were inadequate. The group is now considering bringing new cases against the government and local authorities over illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide pollution on hundreds of roads.

Dr Neira said politicians who believed that taking tough action on air pollution was too expensive should consider the costs of not acting. In 2016 the Royal College of Physicians estimated the costs to individuals, the health service and economy to be more than £20 billion a year in the UK.

“The health system is paying an incredible price at the moment to treat patients because we are talking about chronic diseases and those are very, very costly,” she said. “If you include that cost in your equation then the investment will be recovered immediately by the savings in your health system.”

She urged the car industry to plan a much faster switch to electric cars and suggested they were trying to prolong sales of petrol and diesel cars.

“They are not switching fast enough. They don’t sell fuels they sell the car so they should make the switch as soon as possible. Otherwise they will be responsible for this air pollution crisis.

“If they want to still sell mobility they need to stop selling fossil fuel. They will then be perceived as heroes rather than the guilty ones.”

She urged the public to “keep putting pressure on politicians” to act on air pollution. “That’s the first thing you need to do to protect yourself,” she added.”

Source: Times (pay wall)

‘Say No to Sidford Business Park’ submission to planning inquiry

A picture is worth a thousand words. Words here:
https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/objectors-outline-traffic-chaos-safety-2934450

Some of the pictures here:

Developer says traffic increase at potential Sidford business park would be “insignificant”

Owl says: if so few vehicles would use the business park – why build it!

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/objectors-outline-traffic-chaos-safety-2934450

Have we reached ‘peak industrial estate’ in East Devon? Seems so

If industrial estates are essential sites and supposedly we don’t have enough of them, why is Taylor Wimpey being allowed to build more than 200 houses on the former Parkhurst Close Industrial Estate in Exmouth – the largest town in East Devon?

Sidbury, Sidford and snow – a lethal combination for the A375

Developers take heed!

Last weekend, a car slid off the road into the dip alongside the bend in central Sidbury, smashing its windscreen and narrowly missing a row of lowlying cottages.

Radio Devon travel news announced (2nd February) that the Sidford-Sidbury Road (A375) was turning into a skating rink.

Radio Devon travel news announced A375 was closed due to burst water main.

Imagine of that car had been a lorry …..

Sidford Business Park – appeal lodged

“We have today received the news that most people living locally didn’t want to hear. Namely, that the applicants who submitted a planning application to build a business park on agricultural land in an AONB, have now submitted an appeal against the decision taken last October by the District Council to oppose their application.

This clearly is very disappointing and speaks volumes about the attitude of the applicants to the wishes of those who live locally. After all, the Town Council, the District Council and 1,400 local residents who signed our petition all oppose the proposed business park.

We are determined to immediately take steps to raise funds to allow the Campaign to represent the views of local residents at the planning appeal hearing that will now have to be held. Our next email will set out how we intend to raise the funds to do this.

However, in the meantime we would again remind you of our timely ceilidh fundraising event which is being held on Saturday 23 February in Sidford Social Hall, Byes Lane, Sidford, starting at 7.30 pm. Tickets cost £5.00 and can be obtained by emailing us or from the Rising Sun in Sidford, the Red Lion in Sidbury or Paragon Books in Sidmouth.

It’s more imperative than ever to support us!

This is what we have today issued as a press release –

The Campaign is disappointed but determined to fight on!
The news that the applicants have lodged an appeal, whilst not unexpected, is nonetheless a massive disappointment, particularly for local residents who have overwhelmingly made their views known about this unwanted and unnecessary business park.

The fact that the applicants are going to an appeal when the District and Town Councils and so many local residents have all said that they are against the proposed business park shows how little the applicants care about the local area and its people.

The Say NO Campaign is absolutely determined to support the District Council and its rejection of the planning application at the appeal. But to do this we need to engage professional representatives to forcefully make our case against the business park development. This will take a significant sum of money that we must raise from our supporters. We will now be publicising how people can donate directly into our recently opened bank account, as well as continuing to accept cash donations.

Sadly, our fundraising ceilidh on the evening of 23 February at Sidford Social Hall cannot be timelier. If anyone wants to support the Campaign financially, or in any other way, we would invite them to contact us at

nosidfordbusinesspark@yahoo.com.

Sidford Business Park – disproportionate industrial development?

Recently posted comment:

“At the full EDDC Council meeting at the end of October 2018, independent Councillors Ben Ingham and Roger Giles, supported by 11 other councillors, tabled a motion to discuss the over provision of housing needs in our Local Plan and called for an independent assessment. In answer to a question as to why East Devon is taking a disproportionate share of development [58% more than Exeter, 53% more than Teignbridge and nearly three times that of Mid Devon according to independent analysis conducted by CPRE] Councillor Paul Diviani said:

“Because we have the land and we are good at it”!

[Perhaps he should be reminded that two thirds of East Devon lies in an AONB, or perhaps he doesn’t care].

This is not the argument that was put to Inspector Thickett at the public examination of the EDDC local plan in 2015 by Ed Freeman. Then, the argument for pitching the EDDC target at a minimum of 950 houses/year [about 30% more than could be supported by the evidence] was that we had jobs coming down the line. Specifically he mentioned 1,000 full time equivalent jobs a year.

Thankfully, we are effectively at full employment. Office for National Statistic population projections shows the South West population as a whole growing over the local plan period at around 0.8% per annum, including expected migration. However, we have an ageing population and the annual increase of those classified as of working age is only going to be 0.16% (16 to 64 for all genders). To satisfy this annual demand to find new jobs in East Devon [population 142,300] would only require around a couple of hundred a year, nowhere near the 1,000 that are being planned for.

The creation of jobs is generally a good thing but pursuing jobs as a primary objective is, I suggest, not what we need in Devon. What we need are better quality jobs to lift earnings and I am pleased to see that that is what ratepayers’ investment of £1.1M in the Exeter Science Park is aimed at achieving. But it only creates a one-off 158 jobs against the 1,000 a year needed to justify the development plan.

Can anyone provide an evidence based explanation of where these housing and job targets come from? Anyone believe that this is what they were voting for when they elected their councillors? And who are the “we’s” in Councillor Paul Diviani’s explanation?”