Published at 07:42, Wednesday, 06 February 2013
IN his comments about the Hoodclose opencast site (Talking Point, January 18), Simon Taylor suggests that opencast coal lies a ‘few metres below the surface over large areas of the North-East’ implying that this site will be nothing more than a transient landscape operation.
Opencast mining is the most destructive operation in the countryside today and this mine will create a site of 500 acres with a hole 100m plus deep, and 30m/tons of overburden stored on surrounding land.
He believes it is vital that coal demand is met by indigenous supplies. But Hoodsclose will only supply 2.5 days of coal per year over the seven years it is operating! Yet this 2.5 day supply will mean that for possibly 20 years, including restoration, people’s quality of life will be demeaned, the landscape destroyed. There is no overriding demand, especially for steel-making coking coal.
Since the late 1960s there were 10 applications to mine within the Derwent Valley all refused, including a previous site at Whittonstall in 1978, mainly because of the effect on the landscape. Had they been allowed the Derwent Valley would not now be the renowned and beautiful valley it is today.
All three local authorities responsible for the valley have spent millions on removing the dereliction resulting from its era as a deep mining area, creating the countryside and amenities we all love and enjoy. Let us keep it that way.
Derwent Valley Protection Society,
Published by http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk