Wakefield Council opposes opencast mine plan close to Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Bretton Hall
Bretton Hall

Wakefield Council is opposing new plans to carry out opencast mining close to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Gordon Harrison has asked for planning permission to mine 190,000 tonnes of coal and 40,000 tonnes of fireclay on land at Litherop Lane, west of the sculpture park.

A similar application was rejected by Kirklees Council in April last year.

Now, Wakefield Council has written a letter to Kirklees asking them to dismiss the new application saying it is “almost identical to the one refused in 2013” and does not do enough to overcome the original reason for it being rejected.

As well as protecting the sculpture park, Wakefield Council also has an interest in the planned transformation of the Grade II-listed Bretton Hall into a five-star hotel.

The letter says: “We remain of the opinion that the mining activity is not consistent with the aims to conserve the heritage asset and should not be encouraged in this location.

“The development proposal, in our opinion will lead to direct harm to the significance of a designated
heritage asset, and will also harm the setting of other heritage assets within the Bretton Hall Estate and Yorkshire Sculpture Park.”

According to the application, 12 people would be employed on the 18-hectare site which would be served by three lorries an hour. The company is also proposing to give donations totalling £80,000 to local community projects.