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Cabinet discuss air quality plans

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Wednesday 31 October

Taking action to improve air quality

Councillors are being asked to agree draft plans to tackle air pollution across the borough.

The draft Air Quality Action Plan sets out proposals for measures the council and its partners could use to address areas with high levels of air pollution.

The plans have been put together following extensive research and monitoring of air quality, including latest traffic modelling to account for developments currently planned across the borough.

Swale currently has five air quality management areas (AQMAs) – East Street, St Pauls, Newington, Teynham and Ospringe – where levels of nitrogen dioxide are above the annual mean objective of 40ug/m3.

The latest modelling predicts all except East Street and Ospringe will be compliant by 2022, but the council is proposing taking action that will benefit the whole borough.

Proposals include:

To deliver these, the council is proposing a new clean air zone/corridor in the borough and revising planning guidance on air quality.

Cllr David Simmons, cabinet member for environment and rural affairs at the council, said:

"In Swale, we have a larger scale of air quality monitoring than any other council in Kent, and taking action to tackle the issue is an extremely high priority.

"The draft air quality action management plan sets out proposals for how we, alongside our partners, can try to tackle the issue in the areas most affected.

"Partners such as Kent County Council are crucial to improving air quality locally, and they have been engaging well with the drafting of these plans.

"This is vital, as whilst we might be the ones responsible for preparing the plan, the bigger picture response to the issues lies beyond our control – with central government and County Hall."

The plans are being discussed by the council’s cabinet on Wednesday, 31 October and, if approved, will be subject to an eight week consultation where parish and town councils, community groups and residents will be able to give their views.

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