Another consultation after mine bid ‘invalid’

UK Coal's Shortwood plans.
UK Coal's Shortwood plans.
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Villagers living near countryside, earmarked for an opencast mine, are to be given yet another chance to have their say.

The latest bid by UK Coal to mine between Trowell, Cossall and Awsworth, has been deemed ‘invalid’ by Nottinghamshire County Council, after a technical error on the planning documents.

The firm will now have to resubmit the plans for the Shortwood mine with the error corrected, adding yet another delay to the process and pushing a decision back to at least the end of the year.

A decision was due to be made at the end of this month.

UK Coal communications manager Gordon Grant said: “We are disappointed to incur more delay but we will correct the technical error and resubmit an unaltered plan. We will work with the council to get the application determined at the next available stage.”

The move means that the plan to mine 1.175m tonnes of coal over five years will now go to public consultation for a third time giving the mine’s many opponents another opportunity to object.

Sally Gill, planning group manager at the council, explained that comments already made will be carried forward but that new comments would also be sought.

“If a largely unaltered application with corrected certificates is submitted, it is possible that the application could be considered by the council’s planning and licensing committee later this year,” she added.