South Lanarkshire COALcil » Uncategorized

Campaigners hand South Lanarkshire Council a formal complaint over handling of opencast application

Campaigners and community members have today issued South Lanarkshire Council a formal complaint [1] over their handing of the Glentaggart East opencast coal mine application for 4 million tonnes of coal extraction over an area of 350ha in the Douglas Valley. The mine would be the fourth in the area and encircle communities such as Douglas and Glespin with mining operations, lying just a mile downwind of Douglas Primary School. South Lanarkshire Council planning department are accused of deliberately excluding communities from participation in the Planning Committee meeting at which the decision to approve the Glentaggart East mine was made, which took place on 13th December, and for failing to carry out their duty to the public. David Grey said: “We have 5 detailed and well-documented instances in the lead up to … Read entire article »

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Battle lines drawn: council deceive community and approve Glentaggart East application

It’s been glaringly obvious for some time that South Lanarkshire Council will do anything to help Scottish Coal mine the Douglas Valley – but the way that they sneaked this latest application through defies belief. Every means possible was used to ensure that no one except the Council knew that the decision on the 4 million tonne Glentaggart East application was going in front of the planning committee. Following a recommendation for approval signed off by Colin McDowell on 5th December, South Lanarkshire Council Planning Committee voted on Tuesday to accept the application. So, how is it possible that an active campaign against the application and a clued-up community had no idea that the plan was going to be decided on only two … Read entire article »

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Small victory against open cast in Scotland: Scottish Coal withdraw Auldton Heights plans

From Coal Action Scotland: Scottish Coal have announced that they are no longer perusing a new 420,000 tonne open cast coal mine at Auldton Heights, just south of Lesmahagow in South Lanarkshire. The confirmation came in a letter to Douglas Community Council, where Planning Consultant Stephen Beebe stated the following: “I can confirm on behalf of Scottish Coal, that the company is not proceeding with a planning application for the Auldon Heights surface mining proposal as set out in the 2010 Forward Strategy for South Lanarkshire and forming part of the public consultation exercise we carried out last autumn. The reason for this is based on commercial viability considerations and technical issues.” While we can only guess at what the “commercial viability … Read entire article »

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Community Consultations Ignored By Council Planners

Significant oversights have been identified in South Lanarkshire Council’s initial planning documents relating to local mineral industries. Coal Action Scotland has carried out a critical examination of the Health Impact Assessment Report commissioned by planners at South Lanarkshire Council, revealing inadequate solutions for significant issues relating to the health and well being of residents in and around existing and proposed mineral industries. The numbers of effected residents are to be further exacerbated by the many new proposals for mineral workings covered by the Local Minerals Development Plan. As part of its new “Local Minerals Development Plan” (LMDP), South Lanarkshire Council (SLC) carried out a series of community consultations in which local residents affected by mineral industries (including: coal, sand and gravel and peat extraction) raised grave concerns about existing mineral mines … Read entire article »

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Scottish Coal submit application for 4 million tonne Glentaggart East as Coal Lorry smashes into a building on the A70

As the long awaited submission to South Lanarkshire Council of the full application to mine 4 million tonnes of coal from the so-called “satelite” Glentaggart East mine has finally happened, there has been yet another accident on the A70 involving a coal HGV. This time, a Scottish Coal lorry smashed into a building at Hyndford Bridge, tipping its load, downing power lines, and resulting in hours long road closure and clean-up operation. This accident follows one last month in Glespin, and another shortly before new year in Rigside. It also follows a recent traffic assessment carried out by Coal Action Scotland which showed that 89.3% of HGVs bore no placard indicating their origin, and 95.4% did not carry a “Well … Read entire article »

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Traffic assessment reveals massive coal road usage as yet another Scottish Coal lorry overturns on the A70

From Coal Action Scotland: On Wednesday 6th April yet another Scottish Coal lorry transporting some 30 tonnes of coal overturned on the A70 near Glespin, as it headed from one of the Douglas Valley’s open cast coal mines to Killoch Rail Terminal in East Ayrshire. This accident is just one of many that has taken place over the past few years. Scottish Coal’s insistence on sending coal through Douglas and Glespin on the A70 to Killoch, rather than along the route agreed with South Lanarkshire Council to Ravenstruther has been the source of much anger amongst community members. This latest accident, where a lorry came off the A70 on a bend and overturned in a field, confirms the widely held belief in the area that the danger that these HGV’s pose … Read entire article »

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Council admits it has no power of enforcement as Scottish Coal says “sorry”

Last Tuesday’s Mainshill Open Cast Coal Site Community Liaison meeting, held in the Glespin Hall, revealed substantial information on just how negligent South Lanarkshire Council has been in enforcing the planning conditions it imposed on Scottish Coal when it approved an application to mine 1.7 million tonnes of coal from Mainshill Wood. There were also startling revelations around how poorly the council monitors and enforces restoration at Scottish Coal’s sites in the Douglas Valley, such as at Dalquhandy, which is still unrestored after almost a decade after mining operations ceased. Community Liaison meetings have become a focal point for people in the Douglas Valley area to voice their anger at Scottish Coal and South Lanarkshire Council over the impacts that open cast coal mining has on their lives, and for the … Read entire article »

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South Lanarkshire Council Stinks! Activists disrupt planning committee decision

From Coal Action Scotland: On Tuesday morning Planning Committee Councillors decided to approve Scottish Resources Groups’s application for Happendon Wood. As they did this, activists set off two stink bombs in the committee room where the councillors were meeting, briefly occupied part of the council HQ roof, and unfurlled a banner saying: South Lanarkshire COALcil – Pushing through Dirty Development” … Read entire article »

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McDowall does it again – approval recommended for Happendon Wood development

After ignoring 24,000 objectors against the Dovesdale incinerator plans and recommending approval for that application, McDowall has made it two in a row, this time recommending approval for the Happendon/Poniel mixed use development when it goes to planning committee on Tuesday 8th March. Again, this application was widely opposed by local communities, and again big business – this time Scottish Resources Group (Scottish Coal) – has been prioritised ahead of local people. When will these people be held to account for their decisions? If South Lanarkshire Council is “public enemy number 1″, then McDowall must be a close contender for for taking the same title. … Read entire article »

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Criminal Investigation into South Lanarkshire Council Planning Committee – just the tip of the iceberg?

A BBC investigation has revealed the extent of relationships between planners and developers, showing how Michael McCann, the new Labour MP for East Kilbride, Strathhaven and Lesmahagow, has had an undeclared relationship with local property tycoon and Labour donor James Kean while he sat on the planning comittee at South Lanarkshire Council. Does this surprise us? Not one bit. What about a criminal investigation into the revolving door between Scottish Coal and the planning department? Read the full article here. … Read entire article »

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