Cauldhall “Zombie” application

Wednesday February 24th 2016

What Cauldhall Opencast Mine would look like

What Cauldhall Opencast would look like

With mining company Hargreaves announcing retrenchment of its Scottish operations to a single site in Ayrshire, 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.

Campaign spokesman Malcolm Spaven, 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.

“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.”

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