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Resident driven to tears after opencast mine in Trowell is approved.

11th December 2013 Nottingham Evening Post Tags: , 0 Comments

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WITNESSING the green light for a controversial opencasting plans drove one prominent opponent to tears.

Notts County Council’s planning and licensing committee granted planning permission for the mine yesterday, despite at least a dozen local residents turning out to oppose it.

UK Coal Surface Mines Limited can now begin mining coal and fireclay from Shortwood, between Cossall and Trowell.

Donna Butler, 40, chairman of Shortwood Farm Opencast Opposition, was at the meeting.

Ms Butler, a resident of Trowell for more than 20 years, said:

“I live there, my children go to school there and there is evidence that the opencasts will be a damage to everyone’s health.

“Trowell Primary School is just 300 metres from the site but the close proximity of local schools seem to have been overlooked. There will be a lot of disruption too.”

Councillors voted five to four in favour of the plans. On hearing the result, Ms Butler broke down in tears and was consoled by fellow resident Kate Little, of Ellesmere Drive.

Ms Butler added:

“I feel that the process has let us down, we haven’t been listened to and there are massive gaps in the application that have not been considered.”

Ms Little, 78, a resident of Trowell for 50 years, said she was

“bitterly disappointed”.She said:

“I live less than 300 metres from the proposed site. I am very concerned about the air quality in the immediate area surrounding the site and I am worried about the health risks and the particulates.”

The company applied for permission to mine coal from a 321-acre site at Shortwood Farm in April last year, but the council declared the application invalid after the certificate of ownership, a legal requirement, was found to contain an administrative error.The company resubmitted its plans in September.

At the meeting, Nuthall councillor Philip Owen said:

“I oppose on traffic grounds and I oppose on the issue of noise. There will also be a considerable amount of dust even if mitigation measures are put in.

“Why in this day and age would we want to pollute the air by putting in dust particles that are proposed just to provide Radcliffe Power Station coal for 16 weeks. It is ludicrous and I think my residents deserve better than this.”

An estimated 1.275 million tonnes of coal and 250,000 tonnes of fireclay will be extracted and transported from the site by 46 lorries a day.Steve Leary, co-ordinator of the Loose Anti Opencast Network, lives near the Minorca opencast mine in Measham, Leicestershire.

Mr Leary, who spoke at the meeting, said:

“I have, as a neighbour, a large working opencast mine. Its presence looms over the locality. Local residents have to frequently experience the noise and dust caused by its working.”

David Bolton of UK Coal Surface Mines Limited said:

“I would like to stress that the scheme will bring many jobs. This is at a time when jobs are at a premium.”

The mine will provide up to 56 jobs. The company also confirmed that it would be prepared to employ four local unskilled workers as apprentices and would train them at the nearby Lodge House opencast site in Derbyshire.

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