September 10, 2008

Campaign Group Wants Open-Cast Mine Plan to Be Buried

By Robert Sutcliffe

The proposal relates to land next to Fairburn Ings, near Castleford, a reserve run by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds which attracts around 100,000 visitors a year. Demonstrators from Yorkshire Against New Coal (YANC) are planning to protest outside Leeds Civic Hall today from 11am to 1.30pm when a meeting of Leeds Council takes place.Mining firm HJ Banks wants to create the mine which would remove about 1.2 million tonnes of coal from the Newton Lane site over a five-year period. The proposed mine is also opposed by the Ramblers' Association and by parish councils in Fairburn, Ledsham, Ledston, Kippax, Allerton Bywater and Great Preston.The campaign has the support of the Labour MP for Elmet, Colin Burgon, as well as the Labour MP for Selby, John Grogan.Local residents have set up their own campaign group, Residents Against Greenbelt Exploitation Rage.Chris Mackins, a member of YANC, said: "We will be outside the Civic Hall to communicate a simple message to the council no new coal."We will be asking members of the public to sign letters objecting to this proposed open-cast scheme."Coal- generated electricity has the highest carbon dioxide emissions. If we are to tackle climate change and meet UK carbon emission reduction targets, we have to say no to new coal developments."There are alternatives. We need renewable technology wind power, wave power, tidal power and solar power and energy efficiency."

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