Thursday March 26th 2015
With the announcement this week that Longannet power station is to close next year, opponents of the Cauldhall opencast mine have called on Midlothian Council to have the application withdrawn.
Spokesman for the Stop Cauldhall Opencast campaign, Malcolm Spaven, said: “Midlothian Planning Committee approved the Cauldhall application 16 months ago on the basis that most of the coal would go to Longannet. As we said at the time, this was a highly risky decision because Longannet’s days were numbered. Our concerns have been shown to be correct.”
The committee decision was subject to completion of a legal agreement providing for restoration of the site and other matters. The Scottish Government recommends that conclusion of legal agreements should take no longer than 6 months. But negotiations have gone nowhere because mine developer Hargreaves is cutting back its operations in the face of low coal prices.
Spaven said: “communities that would be badly affected by this mine, and the many unemployed who have been promised a jobs bonanza by Midlothian councillors, have been strung along enough. The Cauldhall coal now has nowhere to go. The Council have already admitted that the application is “in abeyance”. They should now ask Hargreaves to withdraw the application, or refuse it.”
Stop Cauldhall Opencast Campaign Group stopopencast.org.ukTweet Share on Facebook