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Building on campus will 'exacerbate issues with air pollution'.

BUILDING homes on the former University of South Wales (USW) campus in Caerleon will exacerbate existing traffic and air pollution issues, a councillor has warned.

Up to 200 homes are planned on the site after it was sold to Redrow Homes for PS6.2m - despite previous housing plans being turned down.

Congestion on the village's one-way system, and the impact of idling traffic on air quality, were reasons given for refusal by Newport City Council's planning committee in October 2018.

But Cllr Joan Watkins told a meeting: "Given that it's highly possible that this site will be developed, this has resulted in considerable concern in the village."

Caerleon is one of 11 air quality management areas (AQMAs) across Newport where nitrogen dioxide concentrations breach air quality standards.

Pollutant levels are not supposed to exceed 40 micrograms per cubic metre in Caerleon, but Cllr Watkins said this had been surpassed several times in recent years.

The Caerleon councillor added: "It would appear little has been done in last five or 10 years."

Cllr Ray Truman, cabinet member for licensing and regulation, was asked how the council was taking action to reduce pollution levels in Caerleon.

He said: "A number of studies have been undertaken in relation to air pollution in Caerleon but due to the restrictive road network, there is little that can be done of simple physical improvements.

"Fundamentally the problem is due to the sheer volume of traffic on roads in Newport, not just Caerleon."

The meeting heard that Newport was the first authority in Wales to adopt supplementary planning guidance (SPG) tailored to addressing air quality issues.

Further guidance is also being developed alongside a sustainable travel strategy aimed at tackling air and noise pollution caused by rising levels of traffic in the city.

"Scientists are predicting that we have 12 years to curb carbon dioxide emissions and, rather than develop an air quality action plan, the council is looking to develop a wider strategy," said Cllr Truman.

"The strategy does not set out detailed proposals but provides a framework to develop local action plans.

"Once this is agreed, these plans will be developed for each AQMA, including Caerleon, with more engagement and partnerships with other agencies and public co-operation."

Cllr Truman added that he was unable to comment directly on any planning application relating to the Caerleon campus site as it was a

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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 29, 2019
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