Court ruling on UK’s failed air pollution limits gives boost to south Manchester campaign against energy plant

By Oliver Rhodes

Clean air campaigners in south Manchester received new hope in their crusade against a proposed energy plant this week.

The Supreme Court declared the UK Government in breach of air quality legislation and they had failed in their attempt to meet European air pollution limits.

The verdict boosted the hopes of The Breathe Clean Air Group’s campaign against the proposed Barton Renewable Energy Plant.

The group visited parliament, where MPs reinforced their support for their cause, to the delight of group chairman Peter Kilvert.

“We are very grateful to Kate Green MP for facilitating the visit and to Paul Goggins and other MPs for their support,” he said.

“We are pleased that both Trafford Council and Salford Council have rejected the incinerator and our local MPs are against it.

“We now await the final decision on its future from Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.”

The Barton Renewable Energy Plant in Davyhulme awaits planning permission, but Mr Kilvert said the nitrogen dioxide limit is exceeded by 50% in the adjacent Air Quality Management Area.

He also said the proposed development would add some two percent nitrogen dioxide to the densely populated, family suburb area.

Ms Green, who represents Stretford and Urmston, welcomed Mr Kilvert to parliament and also urged Mr Pickles to listen to the views from Trafford.

“Local people have made their views very clear about the proposed biomass plant – the vast majority says the area is already too polluted, and they don’t want it here.”

The court statement reported nitrogen dioxide and ammonia contributed to the formation of microscopic airborne particles – one of the many components of particulate matter.

It added the components were calculated to have an effect equivalent to 29,000 premature deaths in the UK annually.

But there remains a lack of clarity to which components or characteristics of particulate matter result in adverse health impacts.

Picture courtesy of FreefotoUK, with thanks.

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