Pittington opencast plan 'crazy', say campaigners

The Advertiser Series: Pittington opencast plan 'crazy', say campaigners Pittington opencast plan 'crazy', say campaigners

LEADERS of a growing community campaign say it would be crazy to allow coal mining in open countryside on the outskirts of Durham.

Supporters of the Stop The Opencast Between Pittington and West Rainton (Stopwr) group has been working to defeat Hargreaves Surface Mining’s bid dig up to 514,000 tonnes of coal and 83,000 tonnes of fireclay from farmland known as Field House, a few miles east of Durham City.

They say the opencast would generate noise, dirt and dust, lead to traffic problems and light pollution, ruin the countryside and cause health problems for decades to come.

No date has been announced for the application to go before Durham County Council’s planning committee, but campaign chair Denise Harland said: “It’s completely crazy. We’re ready to fight our cause whenever we need to.”

Ellen Osborne, a Gilesgate GP and mother-of-two, highlighted 1992 research from Wales linking opencast mining to increased prevalence of asthma.

Field House is close to three primary schools, in West Rainton, East Rainton and Hetton-le-Hole.

The campaign has the backing of both local county councillors.

Coun David Hall said: “It’s such a big development in such a big area for such little benefit: three years’ disruption and a variety of health impacts for a few weeks of coal.

“The selection of site seems crazy. It’s three feet from some people’s back gardens.”

Coun Stephen Guy, a former miner and son of the late Durham Miners’ Association president David Guy, added: “There seems to be a dash for coal in Pittington when in other areas they’re closing underground coal mines.

“If there is such a demand, let’s keep those open and keep this beautiful countryside the way it is.

“This would be a mining disaster for West Rainton.”

Hargreaves, which is based in Esh Winning, near Durham, says the opencast would create jobs, boost business and eventually improve the landscape.

The mining would last about two years and three months, followed by many years of restoration work.

Mrs Harland criticised Hargreaves’ public engagement, saying there had been no contact since a series of exhibitions early last year.

Campaigners have been distributing leaflets, canvassing support, erecting protest placards and are running a Facebook page.

Comments (6)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:02am Fri 25 Apr 14

Copley23 says...

Nice try guys but it will go ahead. Oh and the noise and stuff......well it isn't actually too bad.....at least the one over here is fine. Just remember, Durham was built on this stuff once the monks had gone.
Get over it.
Nice try guys but it will go ahead. Oh and the noise and stuff......well it isn't actually too bad.....at least the one over here is fine. Just remember, Durham was built on this stuff once the monks had gone. Get over it. Copley23
  • Score: 1

10:45am Fri 25 Apr 14

greenfinger says...

They moaned when it went now they're moaning because it's coming back, classic
They moaned when it went now they're moaning because it's coming back, classic greenfinger
  • Score: 1

1:11pm Fri 25 Apr 14

reasoned view says...

Get it done, get the coal out and landscape it again.Wasn't Pittington category D at one time?
Just off to put another shovel full on the fire, and laughing at these NIMBYS.
Get it done, get the coal out and landscape it again.Wasn't Pittington category D at one time? Just off to put another shovel full on the fire, and laughing at these NIMBYS. reasoned view
  • Score: -3

5:44pm Sun 27 Apr 14

socksalesman says...

I'm compelled to disagree with everything "Stopwr" have to say, simply because of that abomination of an 'acronym'. The most contrived, unaesthetic piece of crap ever. It makes Bush admin US lawmakers seem artistic.
I'm compelled to disagree with everything "Stopwr" have to say, simply because of that abomination of an 'acronym'. The most contrived, unaesthetic piece of crap ever. It makes Bush admin US lawmakers seem artistic. socksalesman
  • Score: 0

9:13pm Sun 27 Apr 14

democracy10 says...

What horrible comments. Hargreaves are creating havoc all over the country and all they're interested in is profit. In a day and age when we are trying to stop pollution and improve people's health opencast mining is a step back. Pollution from the mine and the lorries transporting it will emit PM2.5 particles. These can cause serious respiratory problems. WHO and leading Dr's around the world have researched the impact of these particles. Would you want your children playing next to it. If you think it's safe then why don't you move close by and subject your family to it. Go on i dare you.
What horrible comments. Hargreaves are creating havoc all over the country and all they're interested in is profit. In a day and age when we are trying to stop pollution and improve people's health opencast mining is a step back. Pollution from the mine and the lorries transporting it will emit PM2.5 particles. These can cause serious respiratory problems. WHO and leading Dr's around the world have researched the impact of these particles. Would you want your children playing next to it. If you think it's safe then why don't you move close by and subject your family to it. Go on i dare you. democracy10
  • Score: -1

1:25am Mon 28 Apr 14

socksalesman says...

democracy10: Despite the fact I'm sure you're correct that studies have shown problems with specific particulates and health, you are leaping a bit in saying that just because a quarry/mine is built, this then threatens human health...
http://news.bbc.co.u
k/1/hi/england/32109
71.stm

I live pretty near it anyway... I don't have children but I'd not mind them playing 'near' it so far as not trespassing in the area where hazardous operations and waste are situated..

Don't get me wrong, I think it's pretty rubbish that we still demand so much coal power, but we do. And I presume you don't like energy costs rising, and don't like the idea of power outages... so you must accept that for the time being, infrastructure relies on these extractions.

You'd just rather it was near somebody else? That's the issue I take with this... using words like 'crazy' to describe a proposition like this is gratuitous and over the top... it isn't ideal, but nor is factory farming, traffic pollution, or many other things that go without being called 'crazy' and without people like yourself branding any comments that are in concordance with your own position 'horrible'.

As the article from 2003 states, the long assumed fears surrounding such mines and health risks seem unfounded... I've been hunting for more recent research (and also hunting for the sources of your WHO and 'leading Drs' claim, whoever they are... to no avail but I'll keep looking) and will be sure to comment back should anything interesting come up.

Meanwhile, please do drop me a link to your sources, thanks
democracy10: Despite the fact I'm sure you're correct that studies have shown problems with specific particulates and health, you are leaping a bit in saying that just because a quarry/mine is built, this then threatens human health... http://news.bbc.co.u k/1/hi/england/32109 71.stm I live pretty near it anyway... I don't have children but I'd not mind them playing 'near' it so far as not trespassing in the area where hazardous operations and waste are situated.. Don't get me wrong, I think it's pretty rubbish that we still demand so much coal power, but we do. And I presume you don't like energy costs rising, and don't like the idea of power outages... so you must accept that for the time being, infrastructure relies on these extractions. You'd just rather it was near somebody else? That's the issue I take with this... using words like 'crazy' to describe a proposition like this is gratuitous and over the top... it isn't ideal, but nor is factory farming, traffic pollution, or many other things that go without being called 'crazy' and without people like yourself branding any comments that are in concordance with your own position 'horrible'. As the article from 2003 states, the long assumed fears surrounding such mines and health risks seem unfounded... I've been hunting for more recent research (and also hunting for the sources of your WHO and 'leading Drs' claim, whoever they are... to no avail but I'll keep looking) and will be sure to comment back should anything interesting come up. Meanwhile, please do drop me a link to your sources, thanks socksalesman
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree