Councillor tells villagers to ‘put up with mining’

A sign reading 'No to coal' at the protest camp at Lodge House near Smalley, Derbyshire, where U.K. Coal plans to open a cast mine. Activists have been evicted from the site.'Since U.K. Coal gained its possession order on 18th July, activists have been arriving daily at the site and the occupied farmhouse has been a hive of activity: building an extensive tunnel network, tree-structures and suspended cargo nets. As bailiffs and police arrived on site, people where chained to barricades defending strategic parts of the property.
A sign reading 'No to coal' at the protest camp at Lodge House near Smalley, Derbyshire, where U.K. Coal plans to open a cast mine. Activists have been evicted from the site.'Since U.K. Coal gained its possession order on 18th July, activists have been arriving daily at the site and the occupied farmhouse has been a hive of activity: building an extensive tunnel network, tree-structures and suspended cargo nets. As bailiffs and police arrived on site, people where chained to barricades defending strategic parts of the property.

A PARISH councillor has hit out at campaigners fighting the plan to extend operations at a Smalley opencast mine saying that villagers should just ‘put up with it’.

Former Smalley Parish Council chairman Jan Walker said that the authority took the decision not to oppose UK Coal’s plan to extend mining at Lodge House for 18 months because it would have been too time consuming and expensive.

She denied accusations from Neil Paget, chairman of Smalley Action Group, who said the council had U-turned having previously opposed the plans.

Cllr Walker said that when the council opposed the plans to start mining there in 2008, it led to a lengthy and expensive procedure that failed.

“It’s not worth the time or money grumbling about it

“I understand where Mr Paget is coming from but it will only be a little bit of time and then UK Coal will be gone.

“Like me, no one wants coal mining on their doorstep, but if you live in an area where there is coal then people have got to put up with it.

“If they want their lights on the energy has got to come from somewhere.”

She said that parish councillors have surveyed villagers about the plan and will now write to Derbyshire County Council to feed back their comments but the authority will not be putting in an objection to UK Coal’s application.

Mr Paget said: “It isn’t up to the parish council to say it isn’t worth the time and money – they have got to work for the residents and the vast majority say they do not want it.”