No Community Consent. No Open Cast Mining!
June 2, 2013

Demonstration in central London against UK Coal this Wednesday

UK Coal have been trying to opencast Bradley, Dipton in county Durham. First their planning application was unanimously rejected by the local council. Then they lost on appeal and now they’re seeking a judicial review.

Please join The Coal Action Network at 9am on 5th June at the Royal Courts of Justice and let UK Coal know that no community consent means no open cast mining! Bring lots of banners and be prepared to make some noise!

The nearest tube station is Temple and the Royal courts of Justice are on Strand.

The Inspector for the Secretary of State found that the application should not go ahead because it would have an unacceptable impact on the environment and amenity of local communities (Contravening Policy M7 of The County Durham Minerals Plan). Also the proposed community benefits would not outweigh the unacceptable impact on the environment and amenity of local communities.

UK Coal claim that the Inspector failed to understand the Secretary of State Policy 3 and that the decision was unreasonable and perverse. And that the Inspector made findings for which there was no evidence and were accordingly perverse.

It is up to the Judge to decide whether or not the decision made by the inspector at the three week appeal was legal. If it was legal the decision stands – the application cannot go ahead. If the Judge decides that it is not legal they can either send the decision back to appeal, where another Inspector will make a decision on seeing all of the evidence around the application again. If the Judge decides that the legal errors were not significant enough then the decision can still stand.

The Inspector’s report can be viewed here appeal decision and the grounds for the Judicial Review can be viewed here Bradley skeleton (21.5.2013).pdf

UK Coal are in a difficult financial situation and trying to avoid their pension obligations to workers at the Daw Mill colliery, which was closed by fire earlier this year. If the company collapses sites where they have opencast may never get restored. UK Coal need to accept that this mine is not wanted by local people nor their council and shouldn’t go ahead.