Multi million pound coal mining project row

Margaret Fox and other local residents, Lorraine and Kevin Richardson and Barbara Poole, overlooking the fields behind the Pineapple pub which are to be mined. (W543B245)
Margaret Fox and other local residents, Lorraine and Kevin Richardson and Barbara Poole, overlooking the fields behind the Pineapple pub which are to be mined. (W543B245)

A MULTI-MILLION pound project could see coal mining return to Sharlston.

UK Coal hopes to excavate 1.18 million tonnes of coal from 138 hectares of farmers’ fields between New Sharlston, Crofton and Warmfield.

The company, which held consultations at Sharlston and Crofton community centres this week, said the four-and-a-half year project, first reported in the Express in July, would create 80 new jobs and could start as soon as 2014.

But residents have raised concerns over the Deanfield Surface Mine, which could run from 7am until 7pm.

Cat Morgan, of Cow Lane, Sharlston, has set up a Facebook group against the plans and will be sending objections to Wakefield Council once an application is submitted by the end of the year.

Mrs Morgan, 30, said: “My concerns are there will be an increase in traffic, Hell Lane will be closed permanently and Cow Lane is already dangerous. Views will be spoilt for so many residents. It will decrease property values due to noise, pollution and going from green countryside to an ugly tip.”

Margaret Fox, 58, of Crossley Street, New Sharlston, had a smaller mine excavated behind her back garden and the site is now being turned into housing.

She said: “We are really mad about it. We are going to have no fields left and big banks of dirt. It is a massive site and is going to affect hundreds of thousands of people.”

Workers and machinery will 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 will leave via the A655.

UK Coal area planning manager David Green said the land would be fully restored back to agricultural use and strict rules will minimise the impact on local residents.

To join the campaign visit www.facebook.com/opencastsharlston