Pollution levels in Worcester Park, which are already running at alarming rates, would be further increased by the Hamptons development, new figures show.

Research for Sutton Council, by traffic consultants Atkins, found that Central Road in Worcester Park was already exceeding national and European standards for nitrogen dioxide by 3 per cent.

Work by the consultants has revealed St James Homes’ plans to build the new housing development would push this to 5 per cent.

At 3 per cent, the public’s health is already at risk.

Breathing in raised levels of nitrogen dioxide can increase the chances of respiratory problems and can have particularly harmful effects on people with asthma.

The debate over the Hamptons development has been raging for several years.

St James Homes plan to build 147 new homes in Worcester Park, but have twice had planning application refused.

Sutton and Cheam MP Paul Burstow has warned development pressures in Worcester Park were driving air pollution to dangerous levels.

The MP spoke last week at the public enquiry into St James Homes’ plans.

Paul Burstow MP said: “Traffic conditions in Central Road are already bad. Congestion and slow moving traffic all add to serious localised air pollution, posing a growing health risk to people.

“I argued strongly at the enquiry that the planning inspector should refuse planning permission on traffic and air quality grounds.”

Councillor Lyn Gleeson, executive member for planning on Sutton Council, said: “The council’s development control committee refused the planning application for more homes on the Hamptons as it would create even more traffic.

“We commissioned Atkins to do a study of current and future levels of traffic in the area. "Their study found that Central Road is operating at three per cent above capacity.

“We are urging the planning inspector to uphold our decision to refuse the planning application on traffic grounds.”

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