Oppostion to Telford opencast mine plans continue... [updated: blog for updates]

6.03.2010
CAMPAIGNERS AGAINST UK COALS HUNTINGTON LANE SURFACE MINE were out on the bridges of Telford this morning, equipped with a large banner broadcasting their message of 'No New Coal'. The opencast coal site near New Works in Telford is due to commence operations in the near future.

In 2007 UK Coal submitted plans to Telford and Wrekin Council to open cast mine 900,000 tons of poor quality coal from an area at the foot of the Wrekin in Telford over 32 months. The plans included destroying parts of an ancient woodland and will be responsible for a minimum of 1,500,000 tonnes of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere. The Wrekin is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

After strong local opposition the application was submitted to a planning inspectorate and late last year the Secretary of State, John Denham backing the planning inspector found in favour of UK Coal and the open cast coal mine has been approved.

UK Coal have said they will return the site to green fields once the mining has finished. Jon Lloyd the chief executive of UK Coal spent most of his career in the property development business before joining UK Coal.

The 230 acre site is part of the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is also home to the protected scheduled New Works Ancient Monument.

A spokesperson for the campaigners said "We believe that burning coal to generate electricity is an antiquated and out-dated technology. It is highly inefficient and is responsible for the release of huge quantities of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. If the UK government were serious about addressing the causes of climate change there would be no need for the development of sites such as Huntington Lane. It's a tragedy that this beautiful space in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty will be lost in the pursuit of dirty coal."

Campaigners say that were the UK to hit its existing renewable energy and energy efficiency targets, the country’s power needs could be met whilst reducing both greenhouse gas emissions and fuel bills. It could also deliver thousands of jobs for areas like Telford.

"The truth is that the green energy sector offers a huge opportunity for job creation whereas jobs in the fossil fuel industry simply aren’t sustainable in a climate-changing world. Serious investment in the renewables sector would inject the economy with what the industry is calling a new wave of ‘green collar jobs’. In fact the government’s renewable energy strategy consultation identifies the potential for upwards of 160,000 new jobs if it meets the UK’s 2020 renewable energy targets."

Telford Against New Coal
wmclimatecamp@riseup.net
http://wmclimateaction.wordpress.com/

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We’ve set up this blog in order to keep you informed of the current situation at UK Coals Huntington Lane SMS (Surface Mine Site) in Telford and to appeal for support. Thanks for taking the time to visit, we hope you’ll be inspired to join us.

The 230 acre site near the foot of The Wrekin encompasses both open ground and woodland, eats into the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is also home to the protected scheduled New Works Ancient Monument.

At least one County Wildlife Site at Limekiln Wood and the flora and fauna of the Borough’s largest and most valuable areas of ancient woodland are threatened by the surface mine. The development also involves the disturbance of four badger setts and the foraging territories of a further two badger clans.

Not only does the proposed mine represent a major blot on the beautiful rural landscape, being clearly visible from the Wrekin and many other local areas, and also create three years of noise and dust for local residents – it will also be responsible for a minimum of 2,430,000 tonnes of climate changing CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.

If you’d like to help in any way please check out some of our other pages and contact us at defendhuntingtonlane(at)hushmail.com for more information.

Defend Huntington Lane. Telford against new coal.
http://defendhuntingtonlane.wordpress.com/