Sidford Business Park: noise pollution kills

““There’s consistent evidence that road traffic noise leads to heart attacks,” says Dr Yutong Samuel Cai, an epidemiologist at Imperial College London. He recently analysed the health data of 356,000 people in Britain and Norway and found that long-term exposure to traffic noise affects our blood biochemistry, over and above the effects of exhaust fumes. “Noise and air pollution usually co-exist, but we can adjust our statistical model to factor out the air pollution. Noise seems to have its own effect on the cardiovascular system.” Another study, from Barts and the London School of Medicine, has linked noise pollution from road traffic to instances of type 2 diabetes. Cai stresses that more study is needed, for example, to quantify the different health impacts of constant low-frequency noise (a motorway) and intermittent peak noise (your neighbour playing techno at 3am). “There’s relatively little study of railway noise or airport noise, for example. But it is a growing area of research at the moment.”

The World Health Organization has calculated that at least 1m healthy life-years are lost every year in western European countries because of environmental noise, with cardiovascular disease contributing to the vast majority of these deaths, especially high blood pressure, heart attacks and coronary heart disease. It is thought that noise triggers the release of the stress hormone cortisol, which damages blood vessels over time. Humans evolved our acute hearing millions of years ago, when we were prey animals and had to pinpoint predators, so it is no wonder we find noise stressful. It is hardwired. A leading acoustics engineer, Trevor Cox, hypothesises that the noises we find most stressful are distress calls – screams with an unhinged roughness to them, caused by the vibrations of the vocal folds when someone is truly terrified. The frequencies are similar to the archetypal horrible sound, fingers scraping down a blackboard; and to an electric drill angrily ripping through plasterboard.

Noise exposure has also been linked with cognitive impairment and behavioural issues in children, as well as the more obvious sleep disturbance and hearing damage. The European Environment Agency blames 10,000 premature deaths, 43,000 hospital admissions and 900,000 cases of hypertension a year in Europe on noise. The most pervasive source is road-traffic noise: 125 million Europeans experience levels greater than 55 decibels – thought to be harmful to health – day, evening and night. However, airport noise and railway noise cause more complaints – ask any of Boris Johnson’s constituents. Hacan, a campaign group for residents living under the Heathrow flight path, claims that 620,000 to 920,000 people are affected by noise from the airport – vastly more than for any other airport in Europe.” …

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/jul/03/sonic-doom-noise-pollution-kills-heart-disease-diabetes

Watch out Sidford: air pollution linked to Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, lung disease

Owl says: Time to get some baseline air pollution data in Sidford before the planned business park increases it? Evidence, evidence, evidence.

“While obesity, lack of exercise and genetic risk are major drivers for diabetes, studies have shown a link between the disease and pollution. Air pollution is thought to trigger inflammation and reduce the ability of the pancreas to manage insulin production. …

… Levels of air pollution well below what is considered safe by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the World Health Organization are causing an increased risk of diabetes worldwide, according to a study published Friday in the journal Lancet Planetary Health.

In 2016 alone, the study found that air pollution contributed to 3.2 million new diabetes cases –14% of the total — around the world. In the United States, air pollution was linked to 150,000 new cases of diabetes per year.

“There’s an undeniable relationship between diabetes and particle air pollution levels well below the current safe standards,” said senior study author Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, an assistant professor of medicine at Washington University. “Many industry lobbying groups argue that current levels are too stringent and should be relaxed. Evidence shows that current levels are still not sufficiently safe and need to be tightened.”

Particulate or particle air pollution is made up of microscopic pieces of dust, dirt, smoke and soot mixed with liquid droplets. The finest particles regulated by the EPA are 2.5 micrometers; to put that in perspective, a strand of human hair is 70 micrometers, or more than 30 times larger.

Anything less than 10 micrometers can not only enter the lungs, it can pass into the bloodstream, where it is carried to various organs and begins a chronic inflammatory reaction thought to lead to disease.

“Ten or 15 years ago, we thought that air pollution caused pneumonia, asthma and bronchitis and not much more than that,” said Dr. Philip Landrigan, dean for global health at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, who was not involved in the study. “We now know that air pollution is a very important cause of heart disease and stroke and contributes to chronic lung disease, lung cancer and chronic kidney disease.” …

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/06/29/health/air-pollution-diabetes-study/index.html

Community has 6 months to bid for Sidmouth’s Drill Hall

“Community groups have been given six months to make their submissions by January 11, 2019.

Exeter-based JLL, have been appointed by East Devon District Council as property marketing advisor, and will be offering advice and taking bids from non-commercial organisations immediately.

In the autumn, the company will open the bidding up to commercial property sector who will have only three months to put forward a bid.

Councillor Jeff Turner, of Sidmouth Town Council, said: “I’m pleased to see that the six month period has now started for the local community in Sidmouth to come forward with any ideas they may have.

“This commences the next stage of the process in finding a way forward for this area of the seafront which is of significant interest to a great many people in Sidmouth.”

It follows 18 months of consultation, which included a scoping study around the town’s Port Royal area to find out what the community would like to see there.

EDDC also carried out a marketing exercise to see about the possibility of adding attractions such as a high quality restaurant/bar development or something similar.

An EDDC spokeswoman said: “As a result of hearing what local people wanted and also acknowledging the constraints of the site including increased risk of flooding, a lack of financial viability in relation to large scale mixed use development and existing covenants, it was agreed that the original proposals should be ruled out.”

Cllr Philip Skinner, Deputy Leader of East Devon District Council and its economy portfolio holder, said: “I’m delighted that we are now able to offer this opportunity for the local community in Sidmouth to come forward during the next six months with their ideas for the site.

“Our property advisor will be available to offer guidance to interested parties and I look forward to seeing a range of proposals when the marketing period concludes in January next year.”

http://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/bids-now-open-to-redevelop-sidmouth-s-drill-hall-1-5580801

Sidford Business Park: owner tries to justify it

Says there are not enough spaces on his other business park in Sidmouth (remember that if an application to build housing there ever comes up!) so he has no choice but to build in the AONB with access on a narrow road:

http://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/no-development-possible-on-alexandria-industrial-estate-says-owner-1-5576933

But … but … but ANOTHER businessman hoping to build similar units on a brownfield site with direct access to the A3052 nearer to Sidmouth:

http://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/sidmouth-businessman-s-plans-to-make-town-s-garden-centre-special-again-1-5576929

Air pollution: move children and other vulnerable people out of Sidford?

Owl says:

Can you imagine the damage to the health of vulnerable people (including children) on current and future levels if roadside pollution if Sidford and in the AONB if Business Park goes ahead?

“Air pollution harms one in three children

One in three children in Britain is growing up with air pollution damaging their health, a study has found. About 4.5 million children, including 1.6 million aged five and under, live in areas with levels of particulate matter above what the World Health Organisation considers safe, according to the charity Unicef UK. Separate research has found that children are exposed to 30 per cent more pollution than adults when walking on busy roads because they are shorter than adults and nearer the exhaust pipes of vehicles, the environmental charity Global Action Plan, which commissioned the study, said.”

Source: Times p7, Sky News Online, Independent Online, Mail p34, Mirror p21, Guardian p22, Telegraph p7

Sidford Business Park: “Nothing has changed’ highways outlines objection to business park proposals”

Owl says:

A test of whether EDDC develops or plans on the cards here. New Leader new times or new leader, old times?

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2018/06/18/sidford-business-park-a-grubby-history/

“Highway bosses have submitted fresh opposition to a new proposed business park at Sidford as ‘nothing has changed since the last time’.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, head of highways for Devon County Council, spoke exclusively to the Herald saying the department specifically objected to the distribution element of the application.

A change of use is being sought for the agricultural site, in Two Bridges Road, to provide 8,445sqm of employment floorspace.

The plan has received 102 letters of objection ahead of the deadline today (June 15) for comments.

Councillor Hughes posted on Facebook that the council would be submitting its objections and said the news would be welcomed by residents in Sidford and Sidbury.

He said: “Nothing has changed from the last time. The distribution element was a concern last time because it would bring big lorries through narrow streets in Sidford and Sidbury.

“They are very narrow and just aren’t big enough for this sort of traffic. It is the wrong site for a business park, in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”

Resident Jackie Green said highway’s focus on the distribution element could ‘play straight into the developers hands’.

She said: “Any down-playing of the impact of the rest of the plan, two thirds of the development, risks making it easier for the application to be approved. Worse, if the B8 [class for distribution] is deleted, it would leave a space for even more B1 buildings (office and light industrial), which require more dedicated parking spaces than B8.

“This emphasis in the Highways objection will not ‘be welcomed by all local Sidford and Sidbury residents’, as Stuart Hughes claims, nor by any other users of the Sidford-Sidbury road. The plan as a whole is wrong, not just bits of it.”

The plans state the applicants aim to create 250 jobs and have addressed concerns raised when a scheme for a larger business park were submitted in 2016.

District council ward member David Barrett said he must remain impartial as he is a member of EDDC’s development management committee, which may be involved in making a final decision about the application.

EDDC will make the final decision about the plans.”

http://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/nothing-has-changed-devon-county-council-submits-opposition-against-sidford-business-park-1-5570042

Sidford Business Park – a grubby history

Tim Ford, once a much-respected plumbing and electrical contactor in Sidmouth, is renewing his controversial application to build a business park in the AONB at Sidford. (18/1094/MOUT)

Incredulous locals wonder how it was possible for a council to allocate an ‘employment site’ in its local development plan that is on a flood plain, is a rich wildlife habitat, and whose main access would be a narrow street where two lorries can’t pass without mounting the pavement!

For the dominant Tory group on East Devon District Council it was easy!

First, they let landowners and developers decide where to build. In 2007 they asked East Devon Business Forum how much employment land the district would need over the next 25 years. EDBF was a lobby group which included the Carters of Greendale, the Stuarts of Hill Barton and Tim Ford of Sidmouth. Their answer was predictable: lots and lots!

Second, they put Chair of EDBF, Cllr Graham (‘I ain’t doin’ it for peanuts!’) Brown:

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2017/12/17/the-disgraced-ex-eddc-tory-councillor-graham-brown-if-i-cant-get-planning-nobody-will-scandal-refuses-to-die/

in charge of quietly asking landowners where they would like to build. Apparently, the proposal for a Sidford business park was first mooted at one of these confidential meetings in July 2010.

Third, in 2011 they elected Paul Diviani, founder member of EDBF, as leader. Under him the District Council became what many saw as a ‘Development Corporation’, the planning system became less about protecting the environment and more about encouraging building.

Fourth, they didn’t listen to the public or community groups whom they ignored or misrepresented. Sidmouth Chamber of commerce said the business park would be catastrophic for local businesses, Council minutes recorded the Chamber as supporting it!

Fifth, they whipped their large political majority to vote through the Sidford allocation. When hostile public reaction worried them just before the 2015 council elections they voted to ‘remove it’ from the Local Plan. Universal Rejoicing! But in 2016 the Inspector kept it in the Plan. Why? Because East Devon’s chief planning officer had not been instructed to give the Inspector reasons for the council’s change of mind!

Former EDDC Leader Diviani is now EDDC’s representative on the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan. In its confidential meetings he is helping to oversee a gigantic overspill project along the A3052 in the west end of the District where hundreds of acres of land are being earmarked for a massive expansion of business parks and thousands of new houses.

Indeed one such expansion was announced only this weekend near Cranbrook, where the developer is quoted as saying:

“The first, ‘Scenario 1’ is a response to existing market demand with the provision of a single large unit of around one million square feet (92,9000 sq.m.).

‘Scenario 2’ would see the site offer a multi-unit option, providing a range of sizes and configurations informed by ongoing market need.”

http://www.midweekherald.co.uk/news/huge-distribution-centre-near-cranbrook-is-given-the-nod-by-planners-1-5564832

Which all makes the wretched Sidford application even less necessary!

Would you choose immediate A-road and motorway access to Exeter and the M5 or access down a country road where two medium-size vehicles cannot pass?