MP welcomes plan for new drift mine

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Hemsworth MP Jon Trickett has welcomed plans to create a new coal drift mine in his constituency.

Workers’ co-operative New Crofton Co-op Colliery Ltd is seeking to create up to 50 jobs and mine up to 6,000 tonnes of coal a week until 2036.

The drift mine is planned on a site off Santingley Lane, between Crofton and Wintersett, near Wakefield.

Members of Wakefield Council’s Planning and Highways Committee have passed the plans, which must now win government approval.

Mr Trickett said: “It’s good to have Yorkshire coal being mined here in Yorkshire. At the moment we are importing coal, which doesn’t make sense.

“My constituency, like most of Yorkshire, is built on coal.

“There are huge coal supplies throughout Yorkshire untapped.

“At the moment we are importing coal from all over the world and burning it here in Yorkshire.

“But if we can mine it in Yorkshire with Yorkshire workers that can only be a good thing.”

Mr Trickett added: “On the basis that these are high quality jobs and the environment is not going to be substantially damaged, it has got to be a good thing.”

The co-operative has pledged to contribute £10m to the community around the mine.

It is led by engineer Bill Birch, who worked as a miner for 20 years. Following completion of the 22-year scheme, the co-operative would return the site to its former state.