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Disabled Beckenham couple hit out at authorities over air pollution nightmare

PUBLISHED: 09:00 29 September 2016

Mick and Maxine Hubbard

Mick and Maxine Hubbard

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They say they are unable to open their windows as a result of the pollution

Pollution spots in the Hubbards' flatPollution spots in the Hubbards' flat

A disabled Beckenham woman has slammed the authorities for failing to help after air pollution allegedly caused by a local superstore has left her unable to open the windows of her flat.

Maxine Hubbard and her husband Mike, who live on Croydon Road, have endured the problem since the construction of a new Tesco store near their home, which overlooks a busy road junction, in 2010.

Mrs Hubbard, 62, suffers from MS and her husband, 64, from asthma and type 1 diabetes, but they say the council and their housing association have not dealt with their concerns adequately.

“We have no quality of life,” she said. “We don’t go out as much as we are too ill. We are stuck in here and can’t get a breath of fresh air. We are just waiting for God.

“The heat does not help. The doctors have written to everyone and no-one is listening – they say we are adequately housed. We can’t live like this where we can’t open the window and breathe properly.”

A report by the Healthy Air Campaign revealed pollution levels outside the Hubbards’ flat have been increasing since 2010 and are ‘substantially over’ legal limits.

Planing permission for the new Tesco was granted in 2008 and the council said a full environmental impact assessment (EIA) had not been necessary.

A spokesperson said: “The EIA was completed in line with national guidance on such matters.

“The work at the traffic lights has improved the situation as vehicles now move through the junction more quickly, with less waiting time and as a result, there is now less vehicular-related pollution.”

The Hubbard’s landlord is A2Dominion. Its group housing director Dawn Wightman said: “Mr and Mrs Hubbard do not find their current home suitable and we have been working with them to see what we can do to improve the situation.

“We have awarded them high priority for a move and we continue to look for alternative accommodation for them.”

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