There is another reason why protecting our Greenbelt from inappropriate, irresponsible and reckless development, is so important. Not just for the environment, but for human health and well-being and the national economy.
An estimated 1.3 billion kg of air pollutants were removed by woodlands, plants, grasslands and other UK vegetation in 2015, according to a study produced for the UK Natural Capital accounts by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.
Based on national statistics, on average 9 people in Marlow die prematurely every year as a result of air pollution, especially as parts of Marlow are in an Air Quality Management Area.
How much pollution does 90 acres of vegetation remove?
You can calculate how much pollution is removed by vegetation in your area to the square kilometre level.
Postcode SL7 3RB gives the approximate location of the film studio: that’s just above the national average of pollutants removed per square kilometre, contributing to the approximately £15.5 million a year of healthcare savings across Buckinghamshire (in 2012 prices; this is about £20.3 million today).
Removing 90 acres of vegetation in this patch will result in a 36% reduction in pollutant removal, putting it well below the national average. And we will all pick up the tab for the increased healthcare costs. Unless you are registered in Guernsey, of course.
Object to the film studio while you can.