A VILLAGE campaign group says plans to resume open cast mining near Clayton West will create “hazardous conditions” for local people.
As reported last month, Gordon Harrison Ltd has lodged a plan with Kirklees Council to extract 190,000 tonnes of coal and 40,000 tonnes of fireclay from land near Litherop Lane.
The company says the plan, close to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, will create 12 full-time jobs and claims there will be little disruption to local people.
It says on completion of mining the land will be restored and offered to organisers of Emley Show at a peppercorn rent.
But Emley Show chiefs have indicated they will not take up the offer to move from their current site beneath the Emley Moor Mast.
Councillors from Kirklees and neighbouring Barnsley have objected to the plan and now Skelmanthorpe Community Action Group (SCAG) says it opposes the two-year mining proposal.
Spokesman, Richard Graham, said the mine would bring no benefit to local people and would cause massive disruption to the area.
Mr Graham said the mine would turn the landscape into something resembling “the moon” and claimed spilled coal and mud would turn local roads into a “mud bath”.
He said: “It’s planned to do a protest, but obviously we want to see what the council decides to do first.
“Anyone who was around during the 1950s will have some kind of idea about the amount of disruption and the amount of mess open cast mining makes.
“I’m sure things have moved on a bit but all the soil has to go somewhere and all the grassland gets destroyed.
“The work will cause a lot of dust in the summer and mud in the winter that will create hazardous conditions unless they clean the roads.
“The other problem is the large vehicles travelling on relatively narrow roads, inevitably some of the soil will fall off.”
Mr Graham said the miners would need to pump thousands of gallons of water from the site, creating vast muddy lagoons that could pollute local rivers.
But Natural England, the government’s natural environment agency, has raised no objections to the plan.
Mr Graham added: “There’s a limit to how much the company can do to mitigate the impact to the environment.
“They may well restore it all, but it will take a long time to recover.
“And there’s also the wider issue about how green belt land is being treated.
“As for the jobs, there might be a few temporary jobs but these guys tend to bring their own people in – so what’s the local economic benefit – what does it do for the village?
“These people will just come in, extract the coal and the jobs will disappear once they move on.”