Parish Council meeting

Attended Clay Cross Parish Council meeting this evening.

Pleasantly surprised. Asked when the knew about the Provectus proposal and was told that they had recently made presentations to two of the Councils sub-committees.

Left with the feeling that the were for the most part opposed to the scheme.

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Provectus and farmers in for a surprise

In their document ‘Request for a Scoping Opinion by Provectus Group Limited’ lodged with Derbyshire County Council they state:

Recently, Provectus have successfully completed a surface coal mining scheme at the former Biwater Works site, off Market Street, Clay Cross (known as the ‘Biwater Scheme’).

The Biwater scheme was successfully completed this Summer by the Company with minimal disturbance to the local community.’

I think they have rather misjudged the situation if they think Hilltop is going to be that easy.

Biwater, along with most other recent open cast mining in the area, has been a matter of reclaiming and restoring unusable brownfield sites to land fit for development. Local residents could see the benefits and were prepared to put up with short term disruption for longer term gain.

The Hilltop proposal is different.

The site is currently perfectly good agricultural land and at best will be the same after open cast in mining is complete. There is no perceivable benefit to the hundreds of residents with properties in the vicinity of the site – just years of misery from noise, dust, disruption to views, loss of wild life…

The only people to benefit are the landowners and farmers who are hoping for a nice boost to their pension pot and improved drainage thrown in for good measure.

I’m pretty sure that none of them live that close to the site – apart maybe from the owner of Hilltop Farm who is going to move out and let the property to be site offices!

The fields are probably classified as Grade 3 Agricultural Land – for many years they have been successfully used for grazing cattle and and arable crops. The farmers have not had problems ploughing, sowing or harvesting crops – some parts may be a bit soggy at times but it’s nothing a few land drains and maintenance of ditches wouldn’t cure. They could pay for that out of their own pockets and save us all the disruption.

Local Media interest

Well things are certainly starting to happen.

A Derbyshire Times photographer was out in the fields this morning taking pictures for a planned piece in the paper.

An hour later I was contacted by a reporter from The Derbyshire Times and she has just been out to interview me. Wanted to know my thoughts and concerns about the Hilltop Open Cast scheme as I live right on the edge of the site. She said that the paper was likely to do a fairly big piece about it – I assume this week.

The address of this website/blog will be included so I should start to see quite a bit of activity. We’ll be ahead of the developers as their website still consists of just a picture of a large earthmover destroying the landscape – just the sort of image to get us all on their side!

I think the time is probably right to get a local residents Action Group organised – what do you think?

| e: HilltopActionGroup@gmail.com | t: 07549 608 066 |