Consultation on air quality ends

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THIRTY comments have been received from the public in response to recent proposals to declare an Air Quality Management Area in the central area of Cowfold.

Beginning on July 1, Horsham District Council carried out a public consultation exercise about the size and position of the boundary of the proposed area. The consultation period ended on August 31.

Once the recent consultation responses have been analysed and considered, the next stage is for public health officers at HDC to prepare a report for the council’s cabinet. This is likely to be in the next two to three months.

If the report is approved, an Air Quality Management Area will need to be declared by means of an official order which will have to be agreed by the full meeting of HDC, most likely towards the end of the year.

After the declaration of an area, work will begin on the action plan for Cowfold with further consultation with all interested parties at that stage.

The recent consultation exercise was carried out because HDC has a duty to review and assess air quality in the district on a regular basis and the results of recent detailed tests show that levels of nitrogen dioxide, a pollutant associated with vehicle exhaust emissions, were likely to exceed the maximum allowed in central parts of Cowfold, including The Street, Station Road and Bolney Road.

The Government’s air quality objective for nitrogen dioxide is an annual average of 40 µg/m3 (microgrammes per cubic metre) while the highest annual measured level in Cowfold was 45.5µg/m³ last year.