All posts by John Gregory

Provectus have not given in

As we feared, Provectus do not see HM Planning Inspectorate’s decision to refuse planning permission as the end of this matter.

This evening they posted the following on our Have your say page:

Provectus PR
APRIL 16, 2018 AT 7:55 PM EDIT
Updates are provided at Provectus’ Hilltop Project website. The intent is to see what outcome the pending High Court action in May against DCC has and then we will consider options available to us. We are in no doubt that the way in which the Inspectorate gave weighting to possible noise impacts whilst choosing to ignore expert opinion was inappropriate.

The update on their website is:

Appeal Decision Update
Provectus is naturally disappointed at the negative outcome from the Planning Inspectorate.
Notwithstanding this, we have sought high level legal advice to the effect that there are serious errors in the Inspector’s ruling. This is particularly with respect to her findings on noise impact – which ignored the experts opinions before her – and which gives us very firm grounds to mount a challenge.
At present, we have decided not to take this route but rather to consider other options.
Provectus have taken High Court proceedings against DCC in regard to the return of the original planning fee in the context of their failure to process the application in accordance with statutory time limits. Those proceedings will be heard in High Court in London and resolved next month . Once the ruling is made we will decide how best to proceed.
It is a great shame that DCC failed to deal with the application expeditiously in the first instance, and that HAG failed to adopt a more pragmatic approach. Had they done so and had the project proceeded then it would be done and dusted by now, the process of restoration would be well advanced and the uncertainties which have troubled local residents would have vanished. The young people of Holmgate would be enjoying a MUGA funded by the project.

So it appears that they are mounting one or more legal challenges in the High Court and we must endure further uncertainty about the future of the Hilltop site.

We will keep you informed once we know more.


Planning permission refused

The decision of HM Planning Inspectorate has been announced today (Monday 5 March 2018)


The appeal is dismissed and planning permission is refused for a surface coal mining scheme with restoration to agriculture with nature conservation benefits.


You can read the full report from H.M. Planning Inspectorate here.

Once we have had a chance consider the Inspectors report in detail we will provide more information.

It has been a long 6 year battle but well worth it.

Public Inquiry decision delay

In the last post we said the H.M. Planning Inspectorate decision was due on Monday 12 February.

They have now moved the date back to Monday 5 March 2018.

I’m afraid we have got to wait another three weeks before we know the outcome of the Public Inquiry.

As soon as we know anything we will announce it here.


Public Inquiry now closed

The Public Inquiry by HM Planning Inspectorate into the Hilltop Opencast Mining proposal by Provectus Remediation Ltd ended on Thursday 7 December 2017.

The Inspector has now gone away to write her report and make her decision about whether planning permission should be granted.

H.M. Planning Inspectorate have said the decision will be issued on or before Monday 12 February 2018

Hilltop Action Group would like to thank all those who attended the Public Inquiry and took the opportunity to speak against the plans.


  • Lee Rowley – MP for NE Derbyshire
  • Ted Mansbridge – Clay Cross Parish Councillor
  • George Stevenson – Kenning Park Community Group
  • Anne Harris – Coal Action Network

Many local residents were in attendance throughout the 7 days the Inquiry was in session. They were able put their concerns to HM Inspector and to ask searching questions of the appellant’s expert witnesses and planning consultant after they had given their evidence and been cross examined.


Public Inquiry Final Day

Day 6 of the Public inquiry into the Hilltop Opencast Mining Application by Provectus Remediation Ltd has just finished.

The Public Inquiry is the result of an appeal by the applicant to HM Planning Inspectorate on the grounds of non-determination. The inquiry is being held at the Donut Creative Arts Studio, Springbank Road, Chesterfield, S40 1NL

Tomorrow morning, cross examination of Richard Hunt, Planning Consultant for Provectus Remediation Ltd by Richard Kimblin QC for DCC will be completed.

Final summing up by the barristers for Provectus Remediation Ltd, St Modwen (opposing the appeal) and Derbyshire County Council (opposing the appeal) will take place tomorrow afternoon.

We do not expect the Inspector’s decision to be delivered until some time after the end of the Public Inquiry – likely to be a number of months!

This outcome of this Inquiry will have important consequences for local communities and the Clay Cross Regeneration Scheme.

Don’t forget…
Venue for the Public Inquiry:
Donut Creative Arts Studio
Springbank Road, Chesterfield, S40 1NL


Please make every effort to come along and ensure a good turn out  to hear the final summing up