UK Coal have confirmed they will renew their application for open cast mining at Shortwood Farm, Cossall.
Anna Soubry MP said “ It is the loveliest part of countryside in the constituency and I referred to it in my maiden speech in June. I spoke about the threat to the land from open cast mining and pledged to follow both Jim Lestor and Nick Palmer in campaigning against any such application. “
UK Coal are looking to remove an anticipated 1.275 million tonnes of coal and a quarter of a million tonnes of fireclay from a site covering 130 hectares in some of the finest countryside in Nottinghamshire. Shortwood Farm lies in green belt and is part of a rolling piece of countryside in what is often known as “DH Lawrence land”.
Anna said “I know that there has to be full and thorough restoration of the land once all the required material is extracted, but opencast is a real scar on the landscape and creates all manner of pollution. By way of example UK Coal say if their application at Shortwood is successful it will involve 8 “movements” that’s journeys of HGV’s an hour, 6 days a week for almost 6 years. I could rehearse all the arguments for and against it but in my mind it’s a bit of a no brainer – opencast mining at Cossall must and no doubt will be thoroughly opposed by all of us. I should add that the plans will have profound effects on Trowell so this is an issue that will affect people there as well as in Awsworth, Cosall and Kimberley.
UK Coal have organised two “Public Information and Consultation Exhibitions” at Trowell Parish hall on Sunday 17 October between 10am – 2pm and another on October 21st between 4pm and 8pm at Awsworth Village Hall.
“I have written to all the relevant Parish Councils, Borough and County Councillors to arrange an urgent meeting. My view is that we need to work together and attack any application on solid planning grounds. To that end I am of the view we need a first rate planning “expert” to advise us and act for us if necessary.”
Anna was lucky enough to be drawn in the private members bill ballot and considered proposing a new law similar to a piece of Scottish legislation that prohibits open cast mining within 500m of residential property. Andrew Bridgen the MP for North West Leicestershire where UK Coal have already made an application for open cast coal mining approached Anna and said that given the application had been made he wanted to make the “buffer zone” the subject of his private members bill. Anna has given Andrew her full support and together will work to get this law introduced in England and Wales.
Anna added “We should not be complacent – I am aware that initially the battle was lost last time UKCoal made an application and open cast was only stopped because of legal action. I would very much hope that UKCoal face such strong, united and well founded opposition they don’t cross the first hurdle – but I fear we face a long and difficult campaign.”