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Another Opencast application for the Marley Hill Area?

Steve Leary | 25.07.2012 19:42 | Climate Chaos | Energy Crisis | Social Struggles

This area between Gateshead and Co Durham already has already had to contend with one recent opencast application for the Birklands site as well as the prospect of more opencastin g on the proposed Marley Colliery Reclamation site. Now it seems local people could soon face a third application


PR 2012-5 25/7/12


The area around Marley Hill, which already has an opencast mine application for the Birklands site, is threatened with the new Marley Hill Colliery Reclamation Site, could be facing a new application soon, just down the A 692 between Sunnyside and Burnopfield, off Schoolhouse Lane.

Recent research, undertaken for the Loose Anti Opencast Network (LAON), has revealed that some communities across England are facing the prospect of an opencast mine application in their locality within five years. The communities of Sunnyside, Burnopfield and Marley Hill, could be facing such an opencast mine application.

UK Coal plc is in the process of selling of 8 tracts of land across the country. The particulars attached to the sale documentation for each site include the following details:

“An opportunity to acquire an agricultural property portfolio with strategic coal reserves, sold with the benefit of an option agreement for UK Coal Surface Mining to work the coal. All the sites in this portfolio are included within UK Coals five year planning program for surface mining.”

One of the sites for sale involves land off Schoolhouse Lane between Marley Hill and Burnopfield (1). UK Coal plc, a Company which is millions of pounds in debt and in danger of failing, is trying to raise money by encouraging investors into a joint venture whereby UK Coal gain some money up front to offset its debt mountain. The sites were put up for sale in February (2) and so far two sites have been sold. The Hague Lane site is still, it seems, under offer.

The Loose Anti Opencast Network consists of individuals and groups who work together to oppose actual and proposed opencast mine applications. We also try to alert local people to the prospect of them having to face an opencast mine application and help them to prepare for that eventuality. If any individual or group wants further information about LAON then contact


1) For details about the site particulars off Hague Lane see

2) Farmers Weekly ‘Farmland includes potential coal income’ (1/2/12) @

3) Nottingham Post “Multi-million pound deal to sell hundreds of acres of farmland” (18/7/12)

For more information on this press release please contact Steve Leary, Co-ordinator, LAON at

Steve Leary
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