LEWIN Street in Middlewich is set to be declared an Air Quality Management Area, it has been revealed.

The news comes after Middlewich town councillors met with Nick Kelly, Cheshire East Council’s Environmental Protection Team Leader, and means that it is a statutory requirement for the borough council to produce a plan to improve air quality along the busy stretch of road.

The announcement comes two years after Cheshire East Council was forced to admit it had manipulated air quality data for three years, and had denied that Lewin Street breached safe nitrogen dioxide levels.

Cllr Chris Jones, member of Middlewich Town Council, said: “I’d like to thank Nick for his time today. The meeting was a breath of fresh air, which has helped to rebuild some trust after how we’ve been treated in the past.

“My son suffers from asthma, so air pollution is a subject close to my heart. Anyone at all can request their area be considered for an air quality measurement tube. If you have concerns about air pollution in your particular area of Middlewich then email airquality@cheshireeast.gov.uk.”

Cllr Jonathan Parry, member of Middlewich Town Council and Middlewich ward member on Cheshire East Council, has led a campaign surrounding air quality on Lewin Street which preceded his tenure as a borough councillor.

He added: “I have raised with Cheshire East Council, the issue of air quality on Lewin Street for the past few years, only to be told it is within limits.

“As a resident I have asked questions at full council and cabinet. Now we are finally getting a result and Lewin Street will be made an Air Quality Management Area.

“However, the campaign does not stop there. We need to know what will be done to alleviate the dangerous air quality levels and I will continue to champion the cause at Cheshire East. The next cabinet meeting is in two weeks’ time and I will definitely raise it then.”

A Cheshire East Council spokesperson said: “Cheshire East has been undertaking air quality monitoring along Lewin Street for several years.

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“Monitoring results in 2017 indicated that two sites were breaching the nitrogen dioxide standard. This was reported in our annual status report in 2018, with a commitment to further monitoring to identify whether this is an isolated or continuing situation.

“Monitoring results for 2018 demonstrated that one site had continued to breach the standard. Based upon data from these two years, it has been determined that is now appropriate to declare a stretch of Lewin Street as an air quality management area, which will be supported by continued monitoring.

“Work is currently ongoing to organise a public consultation on the declaration process in order to engage the local community. Once an air quality management area has been declared, there is a requirement to produce an air quality action plan to identify appropriate actions to help improve air quality within the area.

“Cheshire East Council has recently updated its action plan covering existing air quality management areas and has submitted this to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the government department responsible for air quality data.”