People, Environment

Air Pollution May Relocate Cornwall Residents

Air Pollution May Relocate Cornwall Residents
Air Pollution May Relocate Cornwall Residents

Residents in pollution hotspots could be relocated under new clean air proposals.

Cornwall Council has discussed plans that could include compulsory purchases of properties in areas with "particularly poor air quality".

It admitted the scheme was likely to be "very controversial", but said it was cheaper than alternative measures, BBC News reported.

The council said relocation was just one of several options being considered.

As part of the Clean Air for Cornwall Strategy, six approaches have been explored, including creating new neighborhoods in "clean air" zones, although "no specific area" has been chosen.

Councilor Geoff Brown said none of the options has been excluded, including compulsory purchase "as a last resort".

There are currently seven Air Quality Management Areas in Cornwall, which fail to meet national air quality objectives. All seven areas have been singled out for the pollutant nitrogen dioxide, which is associated with respiratory problems, lung disease and cancer.

Claire Hewlett , chairwoman of Camelford Clean Air Group, said relocating residents from highly polluted areas was a "radical" idea, as it appeared to contradict the council's transport strategy, which was about people living close to where they work.

"Surely you want people to stay where they're working so that they can walk or cycle," she said.

Tim Pitt, who has lived in Camelford for 12 years, said he did not agree with residents having to move home.

"Deal with the pollution and leave people where they are," he said.

ClientEarth Healthy Air campaigner Andrea Lee branded the idea "extraordinary", but said it was important to tackle the sources of air pollution.

Another option being considered by the council is "anti-idling legislation" which would see motorists fined £20 for keeping their engines running while idle in places like taxi ranks, train stations and schools.

Legal advice would be taken before any decisions are made.

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