Waverley Borough Council referred itself to the police over erroneous air quality data two weeks ago so this will be the second criminal investigation to be undertaken in the country into the publication of erroneous air quality data by a local council.
Waverley Borough Council referred itself to Surrey Police over its annual status report for 2016, which was withdrawn in October.
The news comes five months after Cheshire Police launched an investigation to probe Cheshire East Council’s flawed nitrogen dioxide (NO2) data.
Last August, Cheshire East Council reviewed hundreds of planning decisions to ensure that none had been impacted by the incorrect data and it likely that Waverley Council will have to do the same. More taxpayer’s money down the drain?
The issue prompted a legal challenge, subsequently dismissed at the High Court, from a developer to the Cheshire Council’s local plan, which was adopted in July.
Waverley’s referral became public on 19 February. Surrey Police has confirmed that it has made no arrests so far and is establishing if any criminal offences have taken place.
Waverley Council says it will make no further comment while the inquiry progresses.
The Leader of the council has announced that it has now signed contracts with developer Crest Nicholson to begin the controversial East Street development in Farnham – the town that is the subject of the police investigation. Trees have now been cut down along the A31 in readiness for a construction bridge, to access the site and traffic queues have stretched as far as the eye can see – causing yes, you guessed – more air pollution!