Fight goes on against Sharlston open cast mining plan

Sharlston cllrs and residents with petitions against plans for open cast mining in the village. The petition will be in the Post Office for people to sign.'Abbey Huskins with the petition.'Cllrs June Cliffe, George Balaan, Dick Taylor and Graham Isherwood and Louise Massam

Sharlston cllrs and residents with petitions against plans for open cast mining in the village. The petition will be in the Post Office for people to sign.'Abbey Huskins with the petition.'Cllrs June Cliffe, George Balaan, Dick Taylor and Graham Isherwood and Louise Massam

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A CAMPAIGN group has upped its fight against plans for a new opencast mine as developers have officially submitted a planning application.

UK Coal has lodged plans with Wakefield Council for a multi-million pound project to excavate more than a million tons of coal from 139 hectares of fields between New Sharslton, Crofton and Warmfield.

The company say the scheme will create up to 90 local jobs and it has taken on board concerns which were raised during consultation events.

But residents and councillors remain opposed to the four-and-a-half-year project, which would see coal mined from 7am until 7pm.

Sharlston parish councillor George Balaam is chairman of Stop Opencast at Sharlston (SOS), which fears it will cause noise, pollution and traffic.

Mr Balaam, 65, of New Sharlston, said: “There will be dust and noise and general upheaval and we don’t want it. We will be strongly objecting to this planning application.”

He added that they will be getting car stickers printed and visiting schools.

The group, which includes Wakefield councillors June Cliffe, Dick Taylor and Graham Isherwood, has started distributing petitions, including one for customers to sign in Sharlston Post Office.

They are being backed by MP Jon Trickett, who added: “The residents of Sharlston have faced enough over the years and this recent application for opencast mining is the last straw for many in the village.

“Many constituents have been in touch with me regarding their opposition to the latest planning application and I am supporting them in their objections”

UK Coal director Simon Taylor said: “We have amended our plans to fully reinstate Hell Lane as part of the restoration of this site. We believe we have the best possible design and can work this site as a good neighbour alongside the local community.”