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Council anger at link road asthma claims

Members of the Stop Almond Brook Link Road (SABLR) campaign group on land to the rear of Standish High School playing field, where it is believed the new road will cut through

Members of the Stop Almond Brook Link Road (SABLR) campaign group on land to the rear of Standish High School playing field, where it is believed the new road will cut through

COUNCIL chiefs reacted angrily after a top doctor claimed a proposed link road could put young people at risk of developing asthma.

Dr Imran Aziz, who leads asthma services at Wigan Infirmary, expressed concern about the planned Almond Brook Link Road in Standish in a letter to the town hall, saying there was a possible health risk from exhaust fumes.

However, Wigan Council has reacted furiously, saying asthma rates are falling and health risks would be taken into consideration by the planning department.

Director of public health Professor Kate Ardern said: “The suggestion that there is a local health timebomb for childhood asthma is completely misleading.

“The council’s public health professionals are committed to working to improve the health of Wigan borough’s residents.

“We work closely with colleagues in planning and environmental health to ensure that all developments are properly risk assessed and health impact assessments undertaken.

“Any potential health impacts, including those of air pollution, would be assessed as part of the usual planning process.”

Professor Ardern said the rate of admission to hospital for children under 16 with asthma is also below the average for England.

Director of Economy Steve Normington said: “The road would be a typical estate road and not a Standish bypass. Its route would be carefully considered.

“The developments will need to maximise opportunities for safe cycling and walking to schools and local services, and be accessible by public transport.”

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh (WWL) NHS Foundation Trust also distanced itself from Dr Aziz’s claims, saying the letter represented his personal opinion.

 

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