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Public Appeal for Objections to UK Coal’s Minorca Plans
August 24, 2010
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Press release from the Minorca Opencast Protest Group (MOPG):

The Minorca Opencast Protest Group is today launching a Public Appeal for people to object to UK coal’s plans for an Opencast Mine on the Minorca site as our PR 73 ” A Public Appeal for help to stop a new Opencast Mine Application from succeeding in The Heart of England” on Climate Change and Environmental grounds explains.

MOPG PR 73) 24/8/10

A PULIC APPEAL FOR HELP TO STOP A NEW OPENCAST MINE APPLICATION FROM SUCCEEDING IN THE HEART OF ENGLAND

Local people in Leicestershire have been battling for nearly two years now against plans by UK Coal plc for an opencast mine on the Minorca Site between Measham and Snarestone. UK Coal plan to extract 1.25m tonnes of coal and 250,000 tonnes of fire clay from a site which is in the Heart of the National Forest. The Minorca Opencast Protest Group (MOPG) was successful during the first round of consultations in getting all the local representative bodies to oppose the application. Then it seemed there was a united wall of opposition to the proposal. Now with the second round of consultations underway, the situation has changed.

UK Coal plc has now offered to help restore part of the Ashby Canal. This has encouraged the creation of a group which advocates the development of the opencast mine solely because of the alleged benefit restoring a small section of the Ashby Canal will bring locally. In addition, MOPG understands that other canal associated groups are now writing to Leicestershire County Council voicing their support for the proposed surface mine. MOPG is aware that this ‘canal lobby’ can be persuasive and creditable, having worked hard to revive the UK canal system through voluntary work and effort over the last 50 years. There are now over 30,000 registered boat users on Britain’s canals and this interest and love of canals supports three commercial magazines. Potentially quite a lobbying force!!

But their view that their interest in seeing part of a canal restored should override the interest of all other parties is misguided. MOPG is quite capable of mounting its own objections on how this application affects local people. What we are now encouraging people and organisations to do is to voice their criticisms about this proposal to Leicestershire County Council on Climate Change and Environmental grounds, matters which affect everybody and on which anybody can register a protest. MOPG appeals to all persons concerned with the issue of Climate Change and the potential damage to both the countryside and to a Special Area of Conservation, as seen on The Country file Programme broadcast on BBC 1 on August 15th 2010, to protest to the fact that, if permission was given to UK Coal to mine the 1.25m tonnes of coal from Minorca that this would result in the emission of over 2,700,000 tonnes of CO2 (1) , a far more significant issue for many people than restoring a canal, let alone the matter of destroying a cherished landscape for up to twenty five years and risking damage to a Special Area of Conservation.

You and your organisation can act now to prevent the vested interests of a minority amenity group from allowing their concerns to restore a small section of a canal (which does not from part of the proposed site anyway) from flying in the face of all the evidence about the fact that burning this coal without carbon capture and storage technology being in place will contribute to global warming.

The date on which Leicestershire County Council will be making a decision on this planning application is the 15th October 2010. If you write to the person below on these issues it will help to prevent a successful application. Write to the Case Officer of Leicestershire County Council (LCC), Peter Bond who is dealing with this application. He will be compiling a report on this application for LCC and it will include information on what opposition there is to this proposal. Details of how to object plus a draft of an objection letter are available from the Minorca Protest site on the leicestershirevillages/measham web site @

http://www.leicestershirevillages.com/measham/minorca-protest.html

If you and any group you belong to do decide to object, then please leave us a message of support on our Guest Book page @

http://mopg.co.uk/

If you are representing a group you could let us know how many people are in the group and we will try to keep a running total on the MOPG web page.

END END

REFERENCE

1) Amount of CO2 gas produced by burning 1.25m tonnes of coal is based on calculations already provided in the following source “Ref 2010 Guidelines to Defra / DECC’s GHQ Conversion Factors for Company Reporting, Annex 1 p 7, August 2010 @

http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/business/reporting/pdf/100805-guidelines-ghg-conversion-factors.pdf

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS PRESS RELEASE CONTACT:

STEVE LEARY, SPOKESPERSON, MOPG

tel 05601 767981, email steve46leary@googlemail.com

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON MOPG PLEASE GO TO:

http://www.mopg.co.uk or

http://www.leicestershirevillages.com/measham/minorca-protest.html