13:19 Monday 17 February 2014

Council get behind bid to extend mine

Written byROB SMYTH

PLANS to extend Leicestershire’s only opencast coal mine have received the backing of a district council.

UK Coal Surface Mining is seeking permission from Leicestershire County Council to dig out a further 250,000 tonnes of coal from its Minorca site at Measham.

The firm is just over a year into an expected four-and-a-half-year mining operation to extract 1.5 million tonnes of coal and fireclay from the site, which was agreed by the county minerals authority in 2011.

North West Leicestershire District Council is now supporting the move to extend the mine after being consulted by County Hall.

David Hughes, head of regeneration and planning , said: “It is accepted that the principle of the proposals would be acceptable, having regard to the likely implications on the environment.”

If granted, the extension will see land occupied by Measham Fields Farm disturbed.

Members of the Minorca Opencast Protest Group, formed by residents to oppose the initial scheme, said they were concerned extending the mine would delay the site’s promised restoration by 2017.

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