Thornton Heath is set to get the lions share of hundreds of trees being planted to counteract high pollution levels.

Cllr Stuart King, cabinet member for  the environment, has unveiled a plan to plant 200 trees this month in the north of the borough, where pollution is worst. This is part of a new and deliberate policy switch to prioritise new tree planting in areas of higher pollution, said Cllr King, pictured planting a tree in Norwich Road.

If re-elected the Labour administration plans to plant 3,000 new trees over the next four years.

Planting more street trees is one of 50 actions in the council’s  new Air Quality Action.

Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) has been declared for the whole of the borough because nitrogen dioxide is failing to meet the EU annual average limits at some of the council’s monitoring stations and  is being breached at a number of other locations.

An air quality Focus Area is a location that has been identified as having high levels of pollution. The five worst areas include two areas in Thornton Heath: Brigstock Road, High Street and Whitehorse Lane along with London Road between Thornton Heath Pond and St James Road.

Initially  the council will focus new tree planting in roads with existing vacant tree pits but in the plan for the next planting season, the council will introduce street trees into high pollution areas without trees.

More trees are also planned as part of the public realm works for the Ambassador House forecourt:  including eight tree planters.