COUNCIL bosses have insisted that air quality monitoring will be carried out next to a school after parents raised concerns about the impact once a parcel ‘mega hub’ becomes operational.
Angry campaigners and activists have called for more measures outside Hoyland Common Primary School, which is near the contentious £60m project for delivery firm Hermes - set to be Europe’s largest parcel distribution hub.
It has sparked outrage among its residents who feel that their green space is being ‘destroyed’ - to the detriment of air quality - and many feel that they weren’t properly consulted with.
A nitrogen dioxide sampling tube will be attached to a telegraph pole near to the junction with Tankersley Lane, with readings set to be taken before and after the building’s completion.
Public health lead Coun Jim Andrews, who represents Rockingham ward, said: “We understand these concerns and have asked for reassurances from our planning department, Hermes and the building’s developer, Newlands.
“The new relief road, currently under construction, should mean that there is no additional traffic on local roads, and we believe that there should be less traffic using Allotts Corner.
“Hermes have also said that they are looking to introduce much cleaner vehicles into their fleet which use compressed natural gas, though there should be no reason for their vehicles to be using local roads near schools.”
The council’s plans for the wider site recently revealed that work is now underway to preserve native woodland, green corridors and wildlife.
The plans show that seven acres acres will be developed off-site for habitat creation - in two areas, to the south of the site and to the south-east of Darfield near the River Dearne.
Coun Andrews, who is deputy leader of the council, added: “However, as local councillors, we are not prepared to take risks with the health of our local children, so we have arranged for air quality monitoring to be carried out before the Hermes site is completed and then again once the site is fully operational.
“This will enable us to compare readings to see if the Hermes development and relief road has any positive or negative effect upon local air quality.
“It is our intention to commence measuring nitrogen dioxide gas on Sheffield Road near to the school.
“I would like to reassure residents that we are taking this matter very seriously and will advise them of the findings once both periods of air quality monitoring have been concluded.”