Stop Massive Opencast Mine in Midlothian

Midlothian Council are considering an application from Hargreaves Services to mine around 10 million tons of coal from a huge site in Midlothian on moorland between Roslin, Rosewell, Temple and Howgate.  The mine will operate for around 12 years, 24 hours a day, sending huge lorries every few minutes through the county.  And it will be the BIGGEST in Scotland, less than 2km from Rosslyn Chapel.

The landscape of Scotland is already scarred from abandoned opencast mines after Scottish Coal went bust, we cannot let this happen again.  Rural communties are left devastated by surface mining, and local councils are left to pick up the pieces, when money is already very tight. 

Please sign and send a clear message to Midlothian Council that we do not want this mine.  The local communities around the mine will suffer for many years to come; wildlife will suffer; people's health will suffer and the landscape will be forever damaged and altered.  You can find out more here and send a letter direct to the council from there.

Thank you very much

Kingsley Drinkwater
Case Officer
Midlothian Council
Midlothian House
Buccleuch Street
EH22 1DN

Dear Mr Drinkwater,

In consideration of Hargreaves Services’ application 13/00105/DPP for planning permission to opencast 10 million tonnes of coal from Cauldhall Moor, Midlothian.

This application will have unacceptable impacts on local communities through noise, dust, blasting, haulage and impacts on community health. Restoration of the site is unlikely to happen as the issues that lead to Scottish Coal’s faliure to restore sites across the central belt – including neighboring Shewington – still have not been resolved. Job creation is a false promise as opencast jobs are poorly paid, precarious and dangerous, and new sites rarely mean new jobs as workers are moved from site to site.

The environmental costs of this application are also unacceptable – the mine will be responsible for some 8 million tonnes of CO2 per year, around 18% of Scotland’s stated annual emissions. Under the Climate Change (Scotland) Act Midlothian Council has a legal duty to reduce carbon emissions. There is no possibility that this coal will be burned at a power station using mitigating measures such as Carbon Capture and Storage, as none exist. The removal and subsequent drying of peat bog on this site would also result in a massive loss of a vital carbon sink. Cauldhall Moor is an important habitat for Otters, Badgers, Bats and many species of bird.

This application contradicts the Local Development Plan as the site isn’t identified as an area of search. It also contradicts Scottish Planning Policy and the EU Habitats Directive.

We urge Midlothian Council to reject this application outright.

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