Northwood’s Voice Newsletter

Published 23 September 2018

TfL Planning Application For Northwood Town Centre Conservation Area



Residents may be aware that Northwoods Voice Ltd (NVL) last published on-line details of our nitrogen dioxide pollution monitoring on our website on 10th April 2017. This work was prompted by the proposal in 2015 from Transport For London [TfL] to demolish their existing town centre buildings and to submit a planning application for 128 dwellings (mostly multi-storey). The Air Quality Report submitted by TfL at the time was based on 6 months results from 4 air sampling locations using Diffusion Tubes – two of which were in Station Approach (a cul-de-sac leading to the station car park, with no through traffic).

We would now like to update residents on the results of nearly 3 years of continuous air sampling since then. We have recorded NO2 pollution at two separate locations in Green Lane, Northwood itself – both locations still being within the Transport for London (TfL) estate and the Northwood Green Lane Conservation Area.

Since 2010 the yearly average maximum concentration standard set by the EU for Nitrogen Dioxide has been set at 40µg/m3.   Our monitoring findings are displayed on the graph (at the end of this article) and broadly our (unadjusted) averaged results since July 2015 show that our recorded levels of monthly Nitrogen Dioxide were at 38.06µg/m3 just below the EU limit of 40µg/m3 but that the yearly trend, on a calendar basis, has been steadily rising over this period. As you will see from the graph there are considerable periods where the NO2 pollution level rises in excess of 40µg/m3. After several years of monitoring, there is some seasonal pattern to the graph now emerging which suggests to us that 3 or 6 month monitoring, as possibly done by consultants, may not be adequate in this Green Lane situation as some such periods will likely be below or indeed considerably in excess of the 40µg/m3

For the calendar year 2016:   average (unadjusted) NO2 was 37.01µg/m3

For the calendar year 2017: average (unadjusted) NO2 showed a slight increase to 37.35µg/m3

For the first 8 months of 2018: average (unadjusted) NO2 showed another increase to 41.64µg/m3 which is markedly in excess of the EU limit of 40 ug/m3. We plan to continue our monitoring at least until the end of 2018 and maybe beyond as there is a view which says that residents might wish to know the effects on pollution of new building (eg: the TfL project, but not limited to TfL projects) in the area both during any construction period and after any construction period.

As we mentioned in our News Bulletin of 10th April 2017, modern science has recently been focusing not only on NO2 pollution but also on the risks of fine particulates as small as 2.5 microns (a unit of length equal to one millionth of a metre, used in many technological and scientific fields. A human hair is about 75 microns across depending on the person.   As science’s understanding of what actually gets inhaled into our lungs and it’s effect on the body improves. NVL regrets that it is not equipped to measure fine particle pollution due to the equipment costs involved. It would be useful for this to be measured for Green Lane, Northwood near the Underground station where TfL may likely attempt to locate blocks of housing units and car parking.

A public announcement in March 2018 by TfL’s partners outlined their increased intent now to build more than 150 new homes on the Northwood town centre site which can thus probably be expected further to challenge air pollution in the town centre area.

Further explanation about Air Quality is given on our website under Pollution

Northwoods Voice 23 September 2018


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