Struggling mining company UK Coal are desperate to opencast 556,000 tonnes of coal from Bradley, County Durham. They are taking their application to Judicial Review on 5th June at the London High Court.
UK Coal seemed to be going into liquidation voluntarily (according to a report in the Financial Times). Local businesses in the North are no longer providing tyres as they haven’t been paid in months and all diesel needs to be paid for up front, at their Potland Burn site. The company is trying to off load its pensions obligations to the government for Daw Mill colliery and is failing to compensate the family of a miner killed at one of their sites. This doesn’t sound like a company who can be trusted to restore a new site, nor treat their workers and families fairly.
At the original planning hearing in February 2011 councillors unanimously rejected the application, calling UK Coal thugs and vandals, saying that they wouldn’t be bribed with money towards improving the roads.
UK Coal were not prepared to admit defeat and leave much loved valley alone. They appealed with an Inspectors Inquiry in Autumn 2011 which lasted three weeks, the refusal remained.
Rather than leave the community in peace UK Coal are now going to Judicial Review to contest the inspectors decision.
Local people in the Pont Valley Network have battled with UK Coal to preserve the area their families enjoy, local wildlife spots, great crested newts, red kites, bats, badgers, open views, historical sites and good health. The site as it is provides all this and more.