Meeting with Provectus
The committee of Hilltop Action Group were invited to attend a meeting on Friday 3 August with representatives from Provectus.
The meeting was arranged and chaired by Natascha Engel ( MP for NE Derbyshire). Rob Murfin, Derbyshire County Council Chief Planning Officer, was also attended.
Bryn Hopkinson and Steve Langford (Managing Director) attended from Provectus along with their planning consultant Christian Smith. Maggie Flude (Office Manager to Natascha Engel) took the minutes of the meeting.
Hilltop Action Group stated that their sole objective was to oppose the open cast mining proposals. We stated that the uncertainty about when a formal planning application might be submitted was causing undue stress in the local communities and Provectus agreed to provide information about the timing and progress of their plans.
Rob Murfin gave useful information about the planning process.
We have now received the following communication from Provectus:
Further to our meeting on Friday last and in the spirit of goodwill which we seek to engender , I would like to confirm the following:-
1. Should we decide at any time NOT to proceed with an application for a consent to conduct surface mining of coal on this site we shall let you know within five working days of the communication of that decision to our principals.
2. As stated in the course of the meeting, we have from an early point in the evaluation process cherished the hope that a decision as to whether or not to proceed with an application would be made Autumn 2012. Notwithstanding the problems we and our consultants have encountered over the last few months in taking the project forward [ abnormal weather conditions in particular] we would hope to be in a position to make a decision on the material technical issues and, significantly, as to whether to proceed with an application or not, by the end of November 2012. At that point, were we to have opted to proceed, we should be in a position to provide an indication of the timetable for completion of the technical work that will require completion in the run up to the submission of the full application.
3. We will let you know at once should there be any material slippage in our programme of work going forward to the November target date.
4. We will let you have details of the material features of any application before it is formally submitted.
We hope that you will appreciate the spirit in which these commitments are given and that will be willing to reciprocate by updating your website to confirm the following issues as to which we were able to give you comfort in the course of Friday’s meeting, namely:-
A. That were the extraction project to go ahead no waste material would be imported to the site, and
B. That it is now understood that we have not knowingly attempted to infer any endorsement by NEDDC of the conduct of the evaluation process and the community benefit component.
Hilltop Action Group will continue to campaign strongly in the local community and fight these open cast mining proposals for as long as Provectus continues with its planning application.