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LAON PR 5-2014


On October 7th, the latest stage in the long running battle over
whether UK Coal should or should not be allowed to dig out
over 500,000 tonnes of coal on the Bradley site near Leadgate
in Co Durham starts. This will be the second Public Inquiry
appealing against a decision made by Durham County Council
to refuse planning permission.
This is a very topical issue. In the week following worldwide
marches, where ordinary people expressed their concern about
the threat of climate change and urged Governments across
the world to take action to prevent climate change, the Loose
Anti Opencast Network (LAON) has published their objections to
Bradley opencast mine proposals, one of which highlights how
giving approval for this mine to go ahead will increase the risk
of climate change.
LAON argues that planning policy lays down a general concern
to prevent climate change when any decision making body
considers granting planning approvals. The fact that mining this
coal and then using it in coal fired power stations to create over
1,600,000 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide and contribute to global
warming, should be a negative factor when assessing the
merits of the appeal. LAON argues
“ ...Under such circumstance, our responsibility is to ensure
that this coal is not used in such a way that contributes to
global warming and set an example to other countries to do the
same. Those countries must take their own blame, if they then
allow the same amount of coal to be mined and burnt in our

power stations. We will have stopped this additional CO 2 from
being released into the atmosphere.”
Global warming also has another effect LAON points out. In
England we are currently spending nearly £800m annually on
climate mitigation measures to prevent flooding caused by the
expected rise in temperature levels:
“.. It is therefore ironic,” LAON says in its objection, “....that
Durham County Council will have the responsibility of
regulating this site if the Appeal is upheld. Ironic because at
the same time Durham County Council, a costal county which
could experience another tidal surge, like all UK local
authorities, is employing staff at public expense, to ensure that
the consequences of burning coal in this way and releasing
millions of tonnes of CO2, is minimised through measures to
mitigate the effects of climate change caused by increased
levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. A true assessment of the
economic benefit of this proposal should include an assessment
of the part of the costs borne by National and Local
Governments in the UK, in trying to counter act the
consequences of climate change caused by burning coal in an
unabated way....”
A full copy of LAON’s objections and a summary of LAON’s
objections can be downloaded from this page on the Pont Valley
Network side @
LAON will be asking the Inspector at the Public Inquiry to take
account of this evidence that the exploitation of this coal
reserve will contribute to climate change. This in turn will
trigger public expenditure costs to mitigate the effects that
climate change has on local populations and this should be
considered as a negative point when making a judgement on
the Appeal.

Steve Leary, who has written the objections and will an expert
witness for the Pont Valley Network said
“The Pont Valley Network was a founder member of LAON and
therefore it’s a privilege to be asked to speak on behalf of the
local residents, who have been for so long opposing this
application. By working together we believe we have used the
new National Planning Policy Framework to developed new
ways by which to oppose surface mine applications. It will, of
course, be up to the Inspector to decide if our objections carry
any weight.”
This is the first of a number of press releases LAON will be issuing in the
lead up to the Public Inquiry which will explain different parts of LAON’s
set of objections.
The Pont Valley Network is group of diverse individuals with varied
experiences and backgrounds. We understand that as people we don’t
always communicate with each other that well. We might disagree or
agree with each other for many reasons but we share one thing in
We all live or have lived and care for Pont Burn Valley. We recognise its
unique heritage and natural beauty and are prepared to work hard to
preserve it.
This is a link to their website @
The contact person for the Pont Valley Network is David Marrs @ tel 01207 571088
The Loose Anti-Opencast Network (LAON) has been in existence since
2009. It is a UK and Northern Ireland wide network of 30 local community
groups opposed to local opencast mine proposals / operations. It functions

as a medium through which to oppose open cast mine applications and
works with groups where local people feel that such a development is
Steve Leary, LAON’s Spokesperson, at
Tel 05601 767981 or 07711501215
You can now follow LAON on twitter @
Coal Action Network
Whittonstall Action Group, Northumberland,
North Pennine Protection Group, Northumberland,
Pont Valley Network, Co Durham,
Pittington Residents Group Co Durham,
Newton Lane Action Group, Leeds,
Residents Against Birklands, GatEshead
Cowley Residents Group, Sheffield ,
Skelmansthorpe Action Group, Kirklees
Shortwood Farm Opencast Opposition, Nottinghamshire,
West Hallum Environment Group, Derbyshire,
Smalley Action Group, Derbyshire,
Hilltop Action Group, Derbyshire,
, Minorca Opencast Protest Group, Leicestershire,
Campaign Against Great Oak Opencast, Staffordshire,
Stop Opencast at Sharlston, Wakefield and
Alumwell Action Group. Walsall
Just Say No to Lignite, N Ireland,
Coal Action Scotland
Mining and Environment Group, East Ayrshire
Saline Parish Hub, Fife
Stop Cauldhall Opencast, Midlothian
Green Valleys Alliance, Rhymney Valley
Residents Against Ffos-y-Fran, Merthyr Tydfil
Merthyr Tydfil Anti Opencast Campaign, Merthyr Tydfil
Llwdgoed Action, Merthyr Tydfil
Varteg Protest, Torfaen
United Valleys Action Group, Rhymney Valley and
Wales Against Opencast Group.