Opencast campaign moves forward

RESIDENTS opposed to opencast coal mining near the hamlets of Tranwell and Glororum are exploring a legal avenue to prevent it from going ahead.

Hargreaves Services was granted planning permission in August, pending the signing of a Section 106 agreement, for a surface mining operation on agricultural land at Well Hill.

The company is looking to extract 130,000 tonnes of coal from the site over two-and-a-half years.

But a group of people living in the local area are still fighting against it and they have instructed a solicitor to apply for a judicial review of the decision.

One of the residents told the Herald that before they can proceed with this, they have to wait for the county council to sign the legal agreement with Hargreaves Services.

Objections to the application included the impact on nearby residents and that the country lanes around the plot are not built for heavy coal vehicles, so the scheme would pose a serious danger to pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders and other traffic.

The company said that no blasting will be done and progressive restoration will take place to return the land to agriculture and nature conservation.