Villagers fail to stop new Denby coal mine

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Villagers have lost their fight against plans for a new opencast coal mine in Denby after councillors approved an application .

Around 375,000 tonnes of coal will be extracted from George Farm in the village – before being transported to power stations across the UK – after Derbyshire County Council gave Lancashire-based LEM Solutions the go-ahead.

Residents had raised concerns over issues such as, traffic, wildlife, the proximity to houses and noise with the council’s planning committee.

However, after council officers proposed a series of conditions, LEM offered to carry out flood alleviation works in the area and councillors heard the mining would only last three years the committee voted the plans through by a majority.

Rex Plowman, who lives on Denby Common, said: “I am really not happy about the noise levels. But I feel like a maggot protesting against an oncoming train.”

Following a visit to the proposed site councillors also raised concerns over the entrance to the site on Main Road, Smalley where an extra 64 vehicles will be entering and exiting the site daily.

Belper councillor Peter Makin said: “I would not like to be someone in a 20 tonne artic coming out of there – it’s dangerous. The entrance and exit I find is flawed and dangerous.”

Horsley Woodhouse councillor Eric Lancashire said: “The times we have heard about HGV’s and tipping is legandary. Your officers have been looking at this since 1986.”

LEM will have to give money to local charities as part of their permission and all operations must be carried out between 7am and 7pm on weekdays and 7am to 1pm on Saturdays.

Chairman of the committee, Cllr Martyn Ford, said: “All in all there’s things that tip the balance for me to make it acceptable. Bearing in mind it’s only 36 months.

“ I don’t like it, but can’t see any reason to refuse it.”