Open-cast mines near residential areas - support the private member's bill
Somewhat to my surprise, I find myself advocating that we support something politicians are doing!
Andrew Bridgen MP (Con) has introduced a private members bill requiring a 500 metre buffer zone between open-cast mines and people`s homes. He has the support of Sir Peter Soulsby (Lab) and many people in Leicestershire and Derbyshire ( see www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk and www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk ).
The bill is partly in response to the activities of UK Coal, who, having established open-cast mines in particular areas, often after protracted disputes, then start applying to increase the scope of their activities.
Their mine in the Smalley/Shipley area of Derbyshire was the source of a bitter dispute in 2007 - 8, and was only given the go-ahead because central government over-ruled the local authority. That controversy could well be replayed now, in light of further applications from UK Coal.
Steve Leary commented
The Minorca Opencast Protest Group based around Measham in Andrew Bridgen's constituency of North West Leicestershire has now published information about the need for a 500 Metre Buffer Zone in England, to bring English policy into line with that operating in Scotland and Wales.. So far the following has been published
B1 '500 Metre Buffer Zones' (Gives a summary of the history of the idea)
B2 'Arguments in Favour of a 500 Metre Buffer Zone' (Outlines 7 arguments in favour of Buffer Zones)
B3 ' English Opencast Coal Sites 2009 -2010: Current Sites' (First part of a review into the current extent of Opencast Mining in England. Contains information about 32 sites that are derelict, being worked, were recently refused planning permission or are in the process of being applied for - this list includes Shortwood Farm at Cossall / Trowell.
B4 'English Opencast Coal Sites 2009 -2010: Potential Sites' (This gives details of a further 34 sites which are potential opencast sites in England)
All these documents (and more) are free to download from:
The page forms part of the Minorca Opencast Protest Group web pages which contains a lot more information on the opencast coal industry at:
Nick O commented
A further development - UK Coal are now carying out a public consultation on plans to start open-cast mining in the Cossall area of Nottinghamshire. There is opposition from repesentatives of all three major parties, plus local campaigns - Notts Against New Coal and CATAC, which I think stands for Cossall, Awsworth and Trowell Against Coal, and Greenpeace. For media coverage, turn to www.thisisnottinghamshire.co.uk .
Nick O commented
UK Coal`s Derbyshire operation is proving particularly contentious - see Catherine Oakes - `Open Cast Mine Protesters are Gearing up for Round Two` (27/9/10) and Chris Mallett - `Battle Cry for Plan for Huge Exension to UK Coasl Open Cast Mine` (??/9/10), both at www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk .