OPPOSITION is mounting against a multi-million pound project to mine coal from farmers’ fields.
UK Coal hopes to excavate 1.18 million tonnes of coal from 138 hectares between New Sharlston, Crofton and Warmfield. The four-and-a-half year project could create 80 new jobs and start as soon as 2014.
Residents have set up an action group called Stop Opencast at Sharlston (SOS) to oppose the plans and will meet next week ahead of a public exhibition by UK Coal.
Sharlston Parish Council vice chairman George Balaam said: “It is a continuous mining project. They want to take Hell Lane out which will force extra traffic up Crossley Street. There will be dust, contamination and noise.
“We want to find out what the community feel about it.”
The Deanfield Surface Mine could run from 7am until 7pm if approved by Wakefield Council. An application is due to be submitted to them by the end of the year.
Workers and machinery would enter from the bottom of Pineapple Hill and work will be carried out in sections.
Coal will be taken to power stations across the country via Crofton Rail Sidings, which is at the bottom of the site, and 100,000 tonnes of fireclay would leave via the A655.
The company has said land would be fully restored back to agricultural use and strict rules would minimise the impact on local residents.
The residents’ meeting will take place at 7pm on Tuesday at Sharlston Rovers Rugby Club, on Weeland Road, Sharlston.
A free minibus will be on offer for residents by contacting Mr Balaam on 07790 225036.
UK Coal’s exhibition is on Thursday at Streethouse School, Whinney Lane, Streethouse, between 4pm and 8pm.