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The Minorca Opencast Protest Group has produced research showing the current and possible future locations for opencast coal mining in England. In all it identifies 23 current sites and 43 potential sites, including sites in Co Durham, Northumberland and Gateshead. The research has been produced to support the arguments for the 500 Metre Buffer Zone Bill which gets its 2nd Reading in the House of Commons on 11/2/11.

Minorca Opencast Protest Group PR 88 6/1/11

The Minorca Opencast Application is just the tip of an Iceberg

A new study on the extent of opencast mining reveals that the Minorca Opencast proposal for a new opencast mine is just one of number of potential sites for opencast mining scattered across England. Research undertaken for a group protesting against a planned opencast mine on the Minorca site in Leicestershire has revealed that this is just one of a number of prospective sites. In all, research undertaken for the Minorca Opencast Protest Group (MOPG) reveals that there are another 42 potential opencast sites in England.

The list of 42 other sites includes:

5 sites for which a planning application has been submitted

3 where a planning application is expected soon because Public Exhibitions have been held to explain the plans

34 potential sites identified from a variety of other sources

The Minorca Opencast Protest Group produced its two part review entitled “A Review of English Opencast Coal Sites 2009 -2010, Part One Current Sites” and ”Part Two Potential Sites” in support of their MP’s Private Member’s Bill which is due to get its second reading in the House of Commons on 11th February.

Andrew Bridgen’s 500 Metre Buffer Zone Bill is intended to bring English law into line with the policies operated in Scotland and Wales where a 500 Metre Buffer Zone policy already operates to prevent opencast mining from occurring within 500 metres of areas of settlement. At present no such law exists in England.

As Steve Leary said for those opposing the Minorca Application

“This research has lifted the lid on the extent of opencast mining in England. We now know that this is a national problem affecting wide areas of England and that it is not just our own local problem. In addition to the 42 potential sites the review also identifies an additional 23 sites that are current,

We now have a chance, if we all get behind the 500 Metre Buffer Zone Bill, of significantly reducing the risk of opencast mining making, with Minorca 66 sites across England.

I urge all concerned local people to write to their local MP and ask them to support Andrew Bridgen’s 500 Metre Buffer Zone Bill when it is next debated in the House of Commons.

A copy of the review plus other information about the Planning (Opencast Mining Separation Zone) Bill can be downloaded for free from

http://www.leicestershirevillages.com/measham/andrew-bridgens-500m-buffer-zone.html

END END

CONTACTING ANDREW BRIDGEN MP for NORTH WEST LEICESTERSHIRE

Constituency Office: 6 Elford Street, Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire, LE65 1HH, Tel 01530 417736

Email andrew.bridgen.mp@parliament.uk

Parliamentary Assistant: Andrew Woodman Email: woody662@hotmail.com

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS PRESS RELEASE CONTACT:

STEVE LEARY, SPOKESPERSON, MOPG

tel 05601 767981, email steve46leary@googlemail.com

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON MOPG PLEASE GO TO:

http://www.mopg.co.uk or

http://www.leicestershirevillages.com/measham/minorca-protest.html

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