The Minorca Opencast Protest Group (MOPG) has just learned that the date for the determination of UK Coal’s application for an opencast coal mine on the Minorca site between Measham and Swepstone has been postponed yet again. The earliest date now possible is July 15th according to a timetable set out on Leicestershire County Council’s Minorca Colliery, Measham web pages (1) that give details about the application.
This is now the sixth postponement of the date by when this application will be determined – the original date given was as long ago as December 17th 2009. The Minorca Opencast Protest Group wrote to UK Coal in March inviting them to explain the reasons for the delay. In their reply UK Coal state
“UK COAL's consultation with the EA (as just one of the Council's statutory consultees), is due to requests for additional infom1ation relating to issues raised during the formal consultation process. By liaising with the EA, and others, we hope to provide all the information that is required for them to be able to make an informed consideration on the application and that ultimately, we do not extend the consultation process by not providing the answers to their questions. “ (2)
This is the closest we have had to an explanation and since then no further information has been provided by UK Coal plc for the delay.
Said Steve Leary, the Spokesperson for MOPG
“It is extremely disappointing to learn that yet again a decision about this application has been postponed. It will now be over a year, come July, that this application has been waiting for a decision.
What is interesting to note is that UK Coal plc waited a year before taking Telford and Wrekin Council to a Public Inquiry because that council would not reach a decision over their application for an opencast mine on the Huntigton Lane site last year, but we are denied a similar power to force the applicant to proceed to a meeting to determine this application on the evidence already available. All the advantage appears to be with the applicant, UK Coal, whilst we just have to wait!
We have since learned, to add a further illustration of the unfairness of the system, that we may have as little as three weeks to both understand the new information which may be another 400 page highly technical submission, prepare our response to it, lobby interested parties before presenting our case to Leicestershire County Council.
For some of us it seems that we will have some intensive work to do during the height of the summer when people are usually thinking of holidays if we are to prevent this application from succeeding"
1) For confirmation please go to:
2) Letter to MOPG from UK Coal dated 11/3/10
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS PRESS RELEASE CONTACT:
STEVE LEARY, SPOKESPERSON, MOPG
4 GREENFIELD ROAD, MEASHAM, SWADLINCOTE, DERBYSHIRE DE12 7LB, tel 05601 767981,
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON MOPG PLEASE GO TO: