Lib Dem Cllr has pointed out that Barnsley councils plans to build a 146-home estate in a ‘toxic air zone’ a stone’s throw off the M1 motorway will put residents’ health at risk.
Persimmon Homes, the developer behind the planning application, outlined its bid for the land off Keresforth Road, Dodworth, in April last year but concerns over its preferred access route - via a cul-de-sac on Bark Meadows - have delayed a decision.
A field earmarked for recreation - which borders the planned housing site - is being looked at as an alternative route in, which would also result in two boarded-up council houses being demolished.
The scheme is set to be discussed by ruling cabinet members later this month, but Coun Peter Fielding has expressed concerns about the site being ‘unfit’ for people to live on due to its close proximity to the M1.
Coun Fielding said: “Persimmon’s proposed development adjacent to junction 37 causes me great concern as more than half of the site is within an ‘air quality management area’ which was declared due to the poor air quality created by traffic.
“Why are we even considering building new homes for people to live in an area that is known to have air that is so polluted that adverse health effects are almost inevitable and where there are no available options to protect occupants from the pollution?
“There is ample available evidence to demonstrate the effects of poor air quality on health, particularly on vulnerable groups, and that body of evidence is increasing all the time so it would be inexcusable if this development was permitted against the council’s stated policies.”