Mining plan ‘in next few weeks’

Shortwood Farm. UK Coal plans to put in an application for an opencast mine in the next weeks.
Shortwood Farm. UK Coal plans to put in an application for an opencast mine in the next weeks.

NEWS that a planning application to create a 320-acre opencast mine between Trowell and Cossall is due to be lodged in the next few weeks has ‘horrified’ a village councillor.

Cllr Ken Rigby warned that the mine, expected to be operational for more than five years, would bombard Trowell with noise, dust and blast vibrations and leave a scar on the landscape.

“I am horrified,” he said. “My concern is that it’s only just the beginning.

“It would be very easy for UK Coal to apply for – and get – extensions to this mine.”

Cllr Rigby – who represents the area on Nottinghamshire County, Broxtowe Borough and Trowell Parish councils – claimed that pressure group Cossall, Awsworth and Trowell Against Coal (CATAC), formed by villagers when proposals were announced three years ago, was now dead.

But he advised residents to get back together and join forces to fight the plans.

UK Coal has said the plan to extract 1.275m tonnes of coal from the area, known as Shortwood Farm, would mean 60 jobs for the area.

And Ilkeston resident Marcello Gabrielli supported the plan.

“I think an opencast mine near Trowell would be an excellent idea,” he said.

“The Midlands is famous for its long-lasting industrial involvement.

“People may not agree but the Midlands needs something job-wise to improve.”

A spokesman for UK Coal said: “The Shortwood scheme could not only recover 1.275m tonnes of coal in an environmentally acceptable way to meet the energy needs of more than a million homes in the East Midlands for a year, but provide a boost for the local and regional economy.

“The overall objective is to remove this coal and then return the site to a mix of woodland and agricultural land.

“We will maintain open and productive relationships with the people in and around this area, and we are committed to continuing to work with them as our plans move forward.”