Cauldhall application to be reviewed by Council

Thursday March 3rd 2016

Cauldhall Opencast Mine

What Cauldhall Opencast would look like

Following calls by campaign group Stop Cauldhall Opencast has urged Midlothian Council to call time on the “zombie” planning application for the Cauldhall Moor opencast coal mine near Rosewell, Midlothian View contacted the council for a comment.

A senior member of Midlothian Council’s Planning Team said: “I intend on drafting an update report for the Planning Committee for its meeting in April – the Council will make an appropriate comment after this meeting.”

The Planning Committee approved the Cauldhall scheme in 2013 on the basis that it would supply half the coal for Longannet power station, but Longannet closes on 31 March. Power station demand for coal has dropped by 47% since the Committee’s decision and all coal-fired power stations are scheduled to close by 2025.

Campaign spokesman Malcolm Spaven, has previuously said: “The Cauldhall application has been in the planning system for three years and has not progressed. The only reason it’s still on the books is because Hargreaves wants to prop up its share price by keeping the ten million tonnes of coal on its balance sheet.

“The planning system is not there for the benefit of Hargreaves shareholders. Midlothian Council is under pressure from the Scottish Government to conclude planning consents within six months. Failure to do so gets the Council a black mark in its performance reports to the Government. Cauldhall is a “zombie” application – it’s being allowed to languish in the system indefinitely. The Council should get Hargreaves to withdraw the application.”

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