And still we wait…

Just to reassure everyone, Hilltop Action Group has not gone away. The committee is still holding regular meetings, planning our strategy and researching probable objections. However, until Provectus make a move and submit a planning application there is little we can do.

We have sent the email below on July 16 to Provectus and they published the following response on their website today.

Residents of Holmgate, Old Tupton and Clay Cross

Dear Resident,

Hilltop Project—Proposed Surface Coal Extraction

28th July 2013

We have had a number of approaches in recent days seeking progress reports and we apologise for the delay in updating you since our newsletter back in January of this year.

As you will be aware, there was a change in political control at Derbyshire County Council following the elections in May. This meant a radical change in the membership of the Mineral Planning Committee and, whilst we had already presented details of the project to the Committee as part of the Council’s Pre Application Protocol in March 2012, we were asked to present again, to the new Council, so as to ensure that new members are fully ‘up to speed’.

This second presentation took place on Monday 15th July.

At this second presentation we were able to report that work on the Environmental Impact Assessment is virtually complete; the only area requiring significant additional work being that of Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment.

That leaves only the task of assessing the mass of data collected and integrating results. We were also able to report on community benefit preferences.

Uncertainty about the Project is costly for us and unsettling for you but it is vital that we get things right and resist all temptation to cut corners in the conduct of the technical investigations required by the Mineral Planning Authority.

It is our hope that by early Autumn 2013 all these uncertainties will be removed and we shall be able to give you both the timing of the application, should the project be deemed viable, and the findings upon which any decision to proceed has been based.

If you wish to raise any queries at this stage please do not hesitate to contact me or my colleague Steve Langford on 01245 505600.

Yours sincerely, Bryn Hopkinson

Provectus Remediation Limited, Nottingham, Lawrence House, Meadow Bank Way, Eastwood Nottingham NG16 3SB

T: 01773 711376 E:

This tells us little more than we had already picked up on the grapevine! It looks as though we will have to put up with the stress and uncertainty for a few more months yet.

Enjoy the rest of the summer, but be ready for battle in the autumn IF Provectus submit a planning application.

Dear Mr Hopkinson,

You dropped the bombshell on us last April by announcing your plans to opencast mine in the middle of the communities of Tupton, Holmgate and Clay Cross.

At first you naively said you would be submitting a planning application in autumn 2012. In January this year you revised this to spring/early summer 2013. Now, here we are in high summer and still no signs of a planning application.

What are you playing at?

Local residents are fed up of living with the uncertainty.

Many are currently enjoying the peace, quiet and fresh air in their gardens during this glorious weather, but wondering how many years it will be before they can do so again without the noise and pollution of an opencast site.

The threat of opencast mining in the area is putting a blight on house sales, driving away potential purchasers.

Clay Cross already has the abandoned Biwater development site on its doorstep and the prospect of another black hole at the entrance to the town will do nothing to help local regeneration.

Mr Hopkinson, you said at your public exhibition last May that you would not want this at the bottom of your garden – well, neither do we.

Please either

Submit your planning application so that we can proceed with getting this preposterous plan thrown out


Admit that you have not been able to put together a viable proposal and issue a public statement that you and your partners will not be submitting plans now or at any time in the future to develop the site.

We await your response.