RECENT DECISION MEANS THAT APPROVAL OF THE MINORCA OPENCAST APPLICATION IS EVEN LESS OF A FOREGONE CONCLUSION
On Monday November 15th the Coalition Government announced that it would uphold the decision to reject an appeal by Banks Development for an Opencast Mine on the Newton Lane site in Leeds (1). This decision marks the first time in at least five years that a decision to reject an Opencast Mining application has been recommended after a Public Inquiry and upheld by the Government.
This is great news for all those groups in England currently opposing new opencast mine applications in Northumberland, Co Durham, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire and especially for the Minorca Opencast Protest Group (MOPG) in Leicestershire where the next planning decision for an opencast mine in England is likely to be made early in the New Year.
For the last few years groups opposing opencast mine applications in England have been labouring under the knowledge that despite them putting together robust cases as to why such applications should be rejected that the likelihood was that such arguments would not sway the Inspector or the Government. Planning Officers were, on occasion, advising their Local Authority that objecting to a planning application was futile as the Local Authority would lose on appeal and this help to increase the number of successful applications. Now it seems that could change.
Steve Leary for MOPG said
“We’ve been told time and time again by many local people who themselves are not in favour of the idea of having an opencast mine on their doorstep, that it is not worth protesting because it is a foregone conclusion that eventually UK Coal will get planning permission through a Public Inquiry decision even if Leicestershire County Council rejected the Application. The recent Newton Lane decision shows that we may be in a new era with regard to opencast mine applications.
It is now worth fighting this application tooth and nail. We urge all those who do not want this opencast mine but thought the outcome was a foregone conclusion and that opposing the application was a waste of effort and money to join our campaign so that we can work together to avoid having such a monster opencast mine even bigger than the one proposed for Newton Lane blighting the area between Measham and Swepstone for the next few years. If people now want to join MOPG they can contact us either by phone (Steve Leary 05601 767981) or by contacting us through our web site at
Leicestershire County Council has indicated that a decision on this application is likely to be made soon but no new decision date has been published.
1) For more information on the Newton Lane decision see
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