Campaigners rejoice as plans for open cast mine in Clay Cross are thrown out

Hilltop Action Group members have fought against the application.
Hilltop Action Group members have fought against the application.

Planning chiefs have thrown out a controversial bid to create a huge open cast mine in Derbyshire.

But after a lengthy public inquiry into the proposed scheme, the Planning Inspectorate this week announced it had refused permission for the mine.

A spokesman for campaign group Hilltop Action Group said: “Over the last six years this application to open cast mine on the outskirts of Clay Cross has been strongly opposed by local residents, with numerous public meetings, a protest march and a petition to Derbyshire County Council. Several hundred residents submitted letters of objection to the planning authority.

“Local councillors and our MPs – both past and present – supported our campaign and spoke out against the proposals. The planning authority (Derbyshire County Council) strongly recommended that planning permission be refused.

“The Planning Inspectorate’s decision is a victory for local residents who have fought long and hard to stop this scheme which would have had a devastating affect on the lives of thousands who live within a few hundred metres of the site.”

Campaigners argued that a mine so close to houses, schools, care homes and doctors’ surgeries would be dangerous and ruin the area with noise and coal dust.

Provectus Remediation Ltd said the planned development – which promised to create 15 jobs on site as well as economic and employment benefits for the wider local economy – was prepared to ‘minimise the potential for adverse environmental impacts’.

But the Planning Inspectorate report stated: “Owing to substantial harm in relation to visual effects and noise, the impact of the development on the environment is not capable of being made acceptable.”

On our Facebook page, Gary Russell said: “Excellent work by all involved. Six years to get the decision we wanted.”

Tony Robison said: “Disgraceful, there are jobs needed.”

Jillian Rose Milne said: “I can understand why this is not wanted. I would think the mess and distress this would cause local residents outweighs the small benefit of a few people being employed.”

Geoff Mitchell added: “Bit ironic that the so-called mining town of Clay Cross, which fought long and hard against pit closures, is now turning its back on coal.”

Provectus Remediation Ltd has not commented.