Nottingham

Shortwood Farm opencast mine plan approved

Computer model of opencast mine
Image caption Several opencast mine plans have been put forward for the site since 1990

Permission has been granted for coal to be mined from a site in Nottinghamshire despite local opposition.

People living near the proposed site at Shortwood Farm, between Trowell and Cossall, have voiced concerns about noise, dust and traffic congestion.

Nottinghamshire County Council's planning committee narrowly passed the plans, with five councillors voting in favour and four against.

The opencast mine's owners UK Coal said mining would support the local economy.

The company has been granted permission to mine for five years and seven months.

The planning committee's chairwoman Sybil Fielding said: "I sympathise with the residents near to the site but the committee had to weigh up the benefits of the application, alongside the potential for disruption.

"To refuse planning permission, the committee would also have had to be confident that there were sound planning reasons for doing so or risk losing an appeal at considerable expense to the taxpayer."

'Six years of misery'

Ken Rigby, councillor for the Kimberley Trowell ward, said he was "absolutely devastated" that permission had been granted.

"This will mean the complete decimation of some beautiful countryside and six years of misery, all to extract coal which will power Ratcliffe power station for only 16 weeks.

"Then of course you've got the noise, the dust with its health issues, and the heavy goods vehicle traffic on the road."

UK Coal plans to extract 1.275m tonnes of coal from the 322 acre site.

The extracted coal will be transported to Ratcliffe on Soar power station via the A609, A6002, A610 and the M1.

UK Coal has said environmental concerns were at the heart of its proposals and the area would be restored to farmland after extraction.

A spokesman said that although there was "a lot of preparatory work to do, we hope to get underway as soon as possible to maximise new revenues in the local economy and support jobs, apprenticeships and supply chain businesses".

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