The 363,000sq ft facility, named colossus, is being built on land off Sheffield Road in Hoyland, South Yorkshire, and will handle up to 1.3 million parcels a day when operational.
However, residents have raised concerns about the impact of extra traffic on air quality in the area once the hub is operational – particularly around Hoyland Common Primary School.
Councillor Jim Andrews, cabinet lead on public health at Barnsley Council, said that councillors are “not prepared to take risks with the health of our local children,” and have arranged air quality monitoring in the area.
Coun Andrews added: “We understand these concerns and have asked for reassurances from our planning department, Hermes and the 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.
“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 at the start of September 2021.
“A nitrogen dioxide sampling tube will be attached to a telegraph pole near to the junction with Tankersley Lane.
“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.”