Monday, December 22, 2014

News: Maltby plans refused

By

Members of the planning board at Rotherham Council have gone against the recommendations of its own planners and voted to refuse revised plans to import tonnes of material to the mothballed Maltby pit site in Rotherham.

The 500 acre colliery at Maltby was mined for over 100 years until geological conditions could not be overcome and underground operations ceased in 2013.

A planning application was submitted in September to Rotherham Council by Maltby Colliery Ltd (Hargreaves) to allow for 450,000 tonnes of mine runoff fines, known as MRF, to be transported each year from nearby Hatfield Colliery and deposited in the current lagoon at Maltby. MRF is a fine slurry-like material which is formed during the washing and reclamation of coal fines (tiny coal particles). It made up much of the 1.4m tonne landslip at Hatfield in February 2013 and without anywhere to deposit the MRF, the mine would eventually close.

The temporary period began in April 2013 and the lagoon was due to be filled anyway as part of the colliery's restoration plan. The permission would have equated to a total potential import of 2.25 million tonnes of material but after a recent public meeting, further discussions held with Rotherham Council and approval granted for an additional spoil tip Hatfield, the Maltby plans were amended.

The new proposal relates to the importation of material up until October 2015, with a maximum import level of 275,000 for the remaining year of operations. Up until the end of October 2014, a total of approximately 400,000 tonnes of MRF had already been deposited at Maltby. This would result in a total of up to 675,000 tonnes, considerably less than originally proposed.

The site is actually within the Green Belt and planners were satisfied that very special circumstances were demonstrated in order for planning permission to be granted. However, minutes from the recent planning board meeting declare that it is not in favour of application as "the importation of material to the site represents inappropriate development in the Green Belt as it does not relate to the material produced from the Maltby Colliery itself and as the engineering operations would not preserve the openness of the Green Belt. No very special circumstances have been demonstrated by the applicant to justify the harm and there is no indication that the operation would assist with the long term restoration of the site."

In addition, "the Council considers that the HGV vehicle movements resulting from the development are detrimental to the amenity of residents living along the route from the M18 motorway to the site and on the town centre of Maltby itself, by virtue of noise nuisance, general disturbance, and the deposition of material in the highway. This traffic generation is not related to the essential mining operation on the site or on an approved site restoration programme for Maltby Colliery which might otherwise justify such traffic generation."

Enforcement action has now been authorised, and the operators have been ordered to stop importing MRF to the site.

Buildings have been demolished and the mine shafts have been filled and capped. The immediate future of the site is as Maltby Energy Park, with operator Alkane Energy generating energy from the coal mine methane assets for an estimated period of up to 15 years.

In the final draft of the council's Local Plan the majority of the Maltby site is being put forward as remaining in the green belt with a pocket of development, which includes the pit yard, associated buildings and access, not considered suitable for a business park with offices or industrial units but instead used for "for waste and energy activities."

Egdon Resources, a leading player in shale gas exploration, recently acquired the interest in the current licence to explore for the controversial energy source at Maltby.

Images: Hargreaves

2 comments:

Alan Grieve April 16, 2015 at 10:35 PM  

Thank you members of RMBC Planning Board. The colliery is closed. It is now time to restore the spoil heap so that visitors, new residents and new businesses can be attracted to Maltby

Anonymous,  December 25, 2015 at 9:00 PM  

while its sad for communities that coal mining is finished its time the people in these communities had money spent on cleaning these places up for future generations

Sponsored by:
Members:
Supported by:
More news...

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP