RESIDENTS have nothing to fear from a new open-cast mine, a businessman has said.
Gordon Harrison wants to extract thousands of tonnes of coal and clay from fields off Litherop Lane in Clayton West.
And he says fears over dust from the site are unfounded.
Musician Phil Maybury – who was a semi-finalist in the 2009/2010 UK Songwriting Contest – is worried about the effect of the open-cast mine near his home.
The 56-year-old has spent the past 10 years fighting back from chest problems which have restricted his singing.
“I’ve just reached a point where my breathing is at last stable and I can begin to look forward to public performances again after many years,” he said.
“My fear is that my breathing will get worse again because of the particulates put into the air so close to where I live. If the scheme goes ahead I think I may have to leave the area.”
Gordon Harrison Ltd will ask Kirklees Council for permission to extract 200,000 tonnes of coal and 100,000 tonnes of clay from the site over a two-and-a-half year period.
But the owner of the earth-moving business told the Examiner yesterday that the mine would not endanger villagers.
Mr Harrison said: “There’s no evidence that the dust will be an issue. We will put dust-monitoring equipment on site and we will monitor the situation daily.
“The site is probably a mile-and-a- half from Clayton West and the prevailing wind goes towards High Hoyland.
“Dust will not be a problem at all.”
Mr Harrison added that his company had an excellent safety record.
“I’ve been in the large-scale earth-moving and open-cast mining business for 30 years,” he said.
“At the peak of our operation we employed 200 people and extracted a million tonnes of coal a year, yet we’ve only ever had one accident.”