Mining could ‘last decade’

MDL100120A4 - Smalley Uk coal sign
MDL100120A4 - Smalley Uk coal sign
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THE CAMPAIGN group fighting plans to extend opencast mining operations at Smalley are leafleting every home in the village warning residents if the bid is given the go-ahead it could mean another nine years of mining.

The Smalley Action Group is planning to hand deliver 800 leaflets to villagers containing a pre-written letter of objection to sign and return to Derbyshire County Council’s planning team before the end of the month.

UK Coal is planning on extending its operations at Lodge House by two years beyond the agreed closure date of October 2012.

Smalley Action Group chairman Neil Paget wrote: “If permitted, the expansion will devastate another 200 acres of the local countryside closely approaching Heanor Gate and bringing environmental destruction, noise and dust much closer to residential areas.”

Smalley Parish Council is offering no objection to the plans on the grounds that it would be time consuming and expensive.

Mr Paget last week claimed that the council has U-turned and should be supporting residents.

He added: “If the parish council ignores residents and refuses to represent their views on this matter, what trust can we have in a body that is interested only in the dubious views of its members on any issue?

“With Derbyshire County Council still accepting representations on the opencasting, it has been left to us, an un-funded and voluntary group of local residents to take the step of helping our fellow residents in understanding what is being done in their name.”

The extension will mean operations will continue at the site until October 2014.

He said that there is mining planned south of the current site and potentially to the east up to the boundary of Shipley Country Park.

“This could mean opencasting continuing until around 2020,” he said.

Some of the options given for grounds to object to the plan are disturbance from noise, and negative ecological and landscape impacts.

Contact Mr Paget on 01773 768123 for a form.