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On the 29th of January the last occupants of the Mainshill Solidarity Camp were forcibly removed after a five day long eviction ending over seven months of disrupting Scottish Coals plans. The occupation part of the campaign against the Mainshill open cast has now ended, but the struggle against the mine will continue.
Douglasdale edition of the Coal Health Study – For weeks now the Solidarity Camp has been accusing South Lanarkshire Council and Scottish Coal of endangering the health of communities through open cast – now finally we have a publication to show people just how disastrous open casting is for community health.
Scottish Coal, the UK’s largest open cast producer, has been given permission to mine 1.7 million tonnes of coal from Mainshill Wood in South Lanarkshire, a decision by South Lanarkshire Council that enraged local residents who for years have campaigned against this mine. There are four other mines in the area, making it one of the most heavily mined areas in Europe.
This new coal mine is only one of 20 such others to have recently been given planning permission in Scotland. If we are to have any chance of limiting dangerous climate change and protecting communities from carbon-intensive industries we must take matters into our own hands.
Scottish Ministers recently gave final approval to the site in April in a document released by the Scottish Government, after it was referred to them by the council. The report deemed the proposed site at Mainshill in the Douglas Valley to be “environmentally acceptable.” This is despite the fact that there are 18 residential dwellings located within 500m of the proposed site boundary, contravening Scottish planning policy on open cast sites. The fact that the proposed site is within the designated Douglas Water Area of Great Landscape Value (AGLV) has also been overlooked by the planning process. The presence of bats, otters, badgers and water voles has not been fully explored.
Communities in South Lanarkshire have been opposing new open cast for many years and the recent decision, first by South Lanarkshire Council, then by Scottish Ministers, to approve this project has enraged local residents who for years have campaigned against this mine . Over 700 letters of objection were sent to South Lanarkshire Council in response to the planning application by Scottish Coal, which for a population of around 1000 people shows quite clearly that there is no community consent for this project.
Impacts on nearby communities such as Douglas and Uddington will include noise, dust, HGV movements, impact on the landscape, ecology, and loss of recreation access.
There are four other working open cast coal mines within 5km of the application site, in particular Broken Cross, Glentaggart and Poneil OCCS, making this area one of the most heavily mined areas in Europe.
The Solidarity Camp stands in support of nearby residents opposing this mine and the inevitable other mines that will be applied for by profit-hungry Scottish Coal.
The Mainshill Solidarity Camp was set up in June 2009. For over seven months the camp stood in the way of the open cast mine with fortified bunkers, tunnels, treehouses, a giant scaffold tripod and a fort. The camp had massive support from the local community with constant visits and donations of food. The campers survived one of the coldest and snowiest winters in decades and were forcibly evicted in late January 2010. The eviction lasted five days and forty three people were arrested. The camp and the eviction were just one step in the battle against the open cast at Mainshill, the campaign continues.
Mainshill is in South Lanarkshire, about 30 miles south of Glasgow.
Call the site phone on: 07806926040
Email us on: email@example.com
Financial donations are very welcome – currently our only funding comes through donations and these are vital to keeping the campaign going. Here’s how you can support us financially:
Cheques can be sent payable to “Friends of Mainshill” to the following care-of address:c/o Birkhill House, Coalburn South Lanarkshire ML11 0NJ
Our account details are as follows:Name: Friends of Mainshill
Account number: 06002626
Sort code: 80 11 94
All South Lanarkshire Stories
- Tell the Scottish Government: Opencast moratorium and public inquiry now! February 17, 2014
- “Deficient” and “Defective”: East Ayrshire Council going down with their ship February 3, 2014
- “No different to Scottish Coal” say campaigners as Hargreaves bosses pocket £8.75 million October 27, 2013
- Opencast Mine Clean-up Cost Estimates Double: “Government must act” says community group September 14, 2013
- Open letter calls for coal mine moratorium and public inquiry as Energy Minister refuses to meet impacted communities June 24, 2013
- The restoration bombshell has finally been dropped May 24, 2013
- Ex Scottish Coal workers pay for their bosses mistakes May 7, 2013
- Scottish Coal ask courts to allow them to walk away from opencast sites as Hargreaves directors set up Restoration Trust on Energy Minister’s behalf April 24, 2013
- Dodgy deals and corporate collusion: SNP still selling communities out to Scottish Coal April 22, 2013
- Scottish Coal Apply for Extension of Mainshill Opencast Coal Mine April 7, 2013