Thoresby Colliery redevelopment plans unveiled

Thoresby Colliery from above Image copyright Harworth Estates
Image caption Developers took this image of what remained of Thoresby Colliery, in January

Proposals to transform the site of one of the UK's last deep-pit coal mines have been unveiled.

The plans come after nine decades of coal extraction, once generating £50m in annual profits, ended a year ago.

Developers want to turn the site into 800 houses, a school, business premises and a country park, with an aim to balance housing and employment needs.

The closure of Thoresby Colliery was announced in 2014 after its owners, UK Coal, fell into financial trouble.

The proposals - which developers Harworth Estates claim will create at least 500 jobs - also include plans for a zip wire and sports pitches, but the colliery's headstocks will be demolished.

Image copyright Harworth Estates
Image caption Members of the public are being invited to comment on the plans for Thoresby as part of a consultation

Some residents living in the area are concerned that there are currently "no resources" for the people in the neighbourhood.

"It's not a good idea for the area, we're struggling as it is - you can't get a doctor's appointment for a start," a resident said.

Another neighbour said: "It's a rubbish idea, there's no resources here for the children... people complain that the children hang around the streets, but there's nothing for them to do."

Stuart Ashton, from developer Harworth Estates, said: "We've thought long and hard since the colliery's closure about striking the right balance between bringing housing and employment opportunities forward, whilst restoring the majority of the site back to green land to support the Sherwood Forest.

Image copyright Coal News
Image caption The closure of Thoresby in 2015 brought to an end a 750-year history of mining in Nottinghamshire

Over the past few years, the colliery's 600 workers were gradually laid off through compulsory or voluntary redundancy and the last 360 miners left when Thoresby closed, on 10 July 2015.

It marked the end of the coal mining industry in Nottinghamshire and left just one deep coal mine in Kellingley, Yorkshire - which has also since closed.

The public will be able to look at the plans as part of a consultation process and suggest any changes.

Thoresby Colliery: A history

  • In 1925, two shafts were sunk to a depth of 690m below ground at Thoresby Colliery giving access to several seams
  • The shafts were deepened further in the 1950s to make way for more seams
  • At one time, the pit produced up to 100,000 tonnes in a week, making profits of £50m a year
  • The colliery, owned by UK Coal, was one of the three remaining deep coal mines in England in recent years

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