THE ACTION group fighting plans to extend an opencast mine in Smalley have hit out at the parish council again after developers have new plans to mine near the village.
LEM Resources is planning to mine 400,000 tonnes of coal from land between Smalley and Denby with the potential of more than 50 jobs over three years.
But Smalley Action Group chairman Neil Paget said that Smalley Parish Council’s decision not to submit an objection to the plan to extend operations at the Lodge House mine has ‘opened the door’ to mining firms.
“Residents feel we are a village under siege,” he said
“We knew that as soon as the parish council offered no objection this would happen. It’s a free-for-all.”
Managing director of the LEM Resources’ planning agents Silkstone Environmental, Mark Barrett, said that the site would create 26 full-time jobs and potentially another 26 as drivers, fitters and welders.
“In the current economic environment we are in, this is very positive,” he said.
He said that an access road will be built for delivery lorries to join directly with the A608, rather than travelling through Denby village.
But Mr Paget said that he has grave concerns about the pressure of an extra 64 vehicles a day travelling on the road through Smalley.
He said: “There are no benefits for Smalley yet again.”
Mr Barrett said the lorry movements would increase traffic on the A608 by just 0.6 per cent: “To put this into context, this is a very busy A-road.”
He added: “We have been in discussion with Denby Parish Council about this for many years. Whatever else has been going on hasn’t had any sway on this development.”
But one resident close to the site at George Farm, who did not want to be named said: “I am very protective of the countryside. I moved here so I could see grass and trees, not roofs and driveways. I would prefer it not to be built if I’m honest.”
Smalley Parish Council chairman Stan Wilton said that the authority will not make a decision as to whether to oppose the plan until its next meeting on February 21.
Residents can make representations to Derbyshire County Council, from today.