Mine fight is dealt a blow

CAMPAIGNERS fighting a plan to mine countryside close to Cossall village have said they are still ‘optimistic’ despite permission being granted to a similar opencast mine in Leicestershire last week.

To the shock of dozens of campaigners, UK Coal’s planning application to extract 1.5 million tonnes of coal and fireclay over three years from its Minorca site in Measham, was approved last Thursday.

At the Shortwood Farm site on land bordering Cossall, Trowell and Awsworth, the firm wants to extract a further 1.5 million tonnes of coal and fireclay over five years and seven months in land treasured by many residents as DH Lawrence land.

Villager Ken Wood said he was not surprised UK Coal was given the green light in Leicestershire but he would continue to fight the local plan despite the news.

“As a result of the downward trend in the economy, most local councils haven’t the money or the time to start a long term investigation,” he said.

“They haven’t got the money to appeal against these things.

“I am hoping that Nottinghamshire County Council and Broxtowe Borough Council, which have always been strongly opposed, continue to fight this application and stand their corner.”

Cossall councillor on Broxtowe Borough Council, Cllr Richard Robinson, who is also opposed to UK Coal’s plan, said: “I was surprised by that decision but that won’t stop me campaigning to stop UK Coal doing that here.”

Since UK Coal announced its plans last October, there has been opposition from all corners, including from Broxtowe MP Anna Soubry who spoke in the House of Commons about changing the law to increase buffer zones between opencast mines and people’s homes.

Expert Dr Dick van Steenis told the Advertiser earlier this year about his grave concerns about health as a result of opencast mining.