A new open cast coal mine site is about to get under way in beautiful Derbyshire unless we stop it. Lodge House site which is east of the village of Smalley and spans either side of Bell Lane, is one of seven new sites that UK Coal is to open cast.
The area is about to be devastated. Despite objections from local councils, residents and local environmental groups the Secretary of State granted planning permission in 2007. The 122 hectare site will have one million tonnes of coal ripped out over 5 years and UK Coal claims that it will be returned back to its natural state afterwards.
However residents fear there may be more to the plot, as they were excluded from parts of the planning meeting under grounds of commercial confidentiality. According to campaigners UK Coal are one of those companies that looks to maximise their profits by raping the land and profiting from it any way they can. After coal extraction, they often turn the area into business parks, housing and industrial estates. According to their website in some cases they return it to farmland and charge the farmers rent or in low grade land grow energy crops. They are apparently even into wind power, but have yet to erect a single turbine.
Coal is not clean energy and is a major contributor to climate change. With the new onslaught of proposed power stations, UK Coal are looking to cash in on climate devastation and destruction unless we stop them.
The area is rich with wildlife and backs onto Shipley County Park. Some houses, (the sort of place you dream of living in) have been shuttered up and items like toys, dog kennels and other personal bits remain looking like something from a hurried evacuation from a war zone. UK Coal has stated that the site will be returned to farm land, but they are able to expand beyond the 122 hectares without needing further planning permission.