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Plans For Opencast Mine Is Rejected

Thursday May 2 2013

We Are Barnsley We Are Barnsley

PLANS for an opencast mine close to Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Bretton Hall have been rejected.

Gordon Harrison applied to Kirklees Council for surface mineral working at Dearne Lea, Clayton West - but it's been rejected because of the impact it would have on the two sites.

The firm wanted to extract 190,000 tonnes of coal and 40,000 tonnes of fire clay from the agricultural land.

However, councillors said they felt uncomfortable with the proposal which they believed would be detrimental to the Bretton Hall area.

It would have created 12 full-time jobs on site and supported 25 people in haulage and maintenance during its two-and-a-half year operation.

On completion of the mining works, the land would have been filled in and restored.

English Heritage and Wakefield Council both objected to the plans, which follows the Wakefield authority recently approving plans for a 120-bedroom hotel and spa and business park at Bretton, creating up to 500 jobs.

The reasons for refusal include causing encroachment into open countryside and the proposal wouldn't preserve the openness of the green belt land.

Officials for the council's planning department said while the development would have been temporary, planners felt it would have had a 'significant detrimental impact' on the visual amenity and landscape character of the area - particularly when viewed at distance and seen alongside the surrounding Bretton Hall Estate Parkland.

Older members of the community can still recollect the 'destruction' caused by earlier mining operations.

Richard Graham said he remembers it well as he lived in nearby High Hoyland in the 1950s.

"I remember hundreds of acres of farmland between High Hoyland and Clayton West were affected.

"I am sure mining methods will have changed, over the years, but one thing that can't be changed is the need to move thousands of tons of soil and rock to get to the coal.

"I remember the dust this created in summer and the mud that coated the roads in winter - the whole area was a mess for several years.

"I am glad we are to be spared a second experience of it."

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Reply Posted by bazza on Thursday May 2 2013 at 11:11
this is a case of its ok but not on my door step ... the people rejecting this are the ones moaning there no work for anyone ..... utter madness .. its a fact land is made to look better after work is carried out .... trees planted etc .... time to remove peoples silver spoon i feel

Reply Posted by les on Wednesday May 8 2013 at 20:51
The reason. that this news has been shown is probably because the parks border barnsley. and i agree its no good making eysores out of old english parkland and they do ...... and they might if your lucky set one or 2 people on for security everybody else comes with the machinery from somewhere else so dont bank on that job

Reply Posted by guesty mcguest on Thursday May 9 2013 at 07:44
Opencast traditionally leaves the landscape in a better condition than it was, those that extract the coal habe a legal duty to improve the area

Reply Posted by donna on Friday May 10 2013 at 10:11
All u have to do is look at the wetlands, dearne valley park way, cortonwood etc. Made all the better, bringing 100s of jobs, businesses, call centers, houses, and homes for wild life. It did the whole area good, been going strong for of 10years and still developing. No one wanted that to be open cast but they went a head anyway, and look how much good it did the whole area and beyond. Helping ex coal mining communities get back in to work and bring money back to the whole community.

Reply Posted by les on Monday May 13 2013 at 18:15
Donna please explain what you are talking about.the wetlands centre was built on land that was the same all my life and im 60. Its all a flood plane from water running from darfied and wombwell and the river