Anna Soubry MP meeting with Eric Pickles to request he “calls in” Open Cast Application

Broxtowe MP Anna Soubry met Eric Pickles this afternoon and requested he “call in” Notts County Council’s decision to allow open cast coal mining near Trowell.

Speaking after the meeting, Anna said:

“It was a very positive meeting – Eric had already read my letter sent before Christmas. I made further representations as to why there should be a Public Inquiry, notably the failure by the County Council to carry out a Health Impact Assessment. I showed Eric the planned route of 112 HGV lorry journeys each day for almost five years, to take enough coal to burn for a mere 16 weeks at Ratcliffe on Soar Power Station.

The route up to Nuthall roundabout is already hugely over congested and it is difficult to see how the roads can cope with this 112 HGV trips a day. At the request of local County Councillor Philip Owen, I raised the suggestion that these lorries could better access the M1 via Trowell Services. I also raised my own observation that coal going to Ratcliffe Power Station is transported by rail and this was a better alternative to using lorries and roads. However, rather than concentrating on looking at how we can cope with this open cast coal mine, I made it clear local residents and I were totally opposed to the plans. I explained local people in particular believe their concerns were ignored and the entire application has not been properly scrutinised and fully debated by the current administration at Notts County Council.”

Eric Pickles has already agreed to halt the plans and extend the time period needed to decide whether to “call in” the decision. “The Secretary of State must keep an open and independent mind. Eric assured me he will consider my request carefully and should make a decision by the end of next month.”