I see that Mr Hopkinson of Provectus has added a new statement to their website. Notice it is no longer called a blog as he is not prepared to accept open comment and discussion! Once again we appear to be calling the tune – everything is a reaction to what we are saying – there is nothing new from Provectus.
In his piece, Mr Hopkinson uses the phrase ‘…allegedly contained within the formal Provectus proposal to Derbyshire County Council…’ when referring to the words ‘proposed extension’ and ‘proposed extension area’ which I had quoted. There is nothing ‘alleged’ about them – they are there in black and white in the Provectus documents. I agree they appear to make no sense but this is due to his mistake not mine. As Provectus have submitted erroneous documents then it is up to them to sort it out with the planning authority.
Interestingly Mr Hopkinson seems to make rather a lot of sloppy mistakes. When he contacted me via the website on 3 May he correctly referred to me as Mr Gregory, yesterday for some unknown reason he called me Mr Garrett!
Good to know that the other two sites he has his eyes on are not around here, but not so sure the folks in Nottinghamshire will be as happy.
He goes on to address the concerns we have voiced on the flyer for tonight’s meeting. I will respond to his comments as follows:
- Noise – any noise produced by the Hilltop Opencast Project is more noise regardless of statutory limits. We like the peace and quiet.
- Landfill/Waste Disposal – they’re taking 175,000 tonnes of coal out, so they must be going to bring 175,000 tonnes of something back in or leave a big hole.
- House values – Nominal house values will probably not be greatly affected but they will be unsalable. Anyone who wants or needs to move in the next 5 or 6 years will find it very difficult without drastically reducing their selling price. As for an enhanced green environment, I find that very hard to believe. We all know that the contours of land reclaimed after opencasting are never natural but usually flat and featureless. Hedgerows may be replaced but will take many years to mature. Large trees, like the ones that will have to be removed to make way for the coal processing area, will take nigh on a hundred years to mature. Wild life will be driven away by the noise and dust and take many years to return.
- Traffic – The A61 is a major concern as this is regularly congested through Clay Cross. All lorries will use the Royal Oak roundabout which is a busy crossing point for pupils going to and from Tupton Hall School. We have yet to hear where the lorries will go having reached the Royal Oak roundabout. Indeed the Scoping Opinion in response to the Provectus proposal states ‘The Highway Authority considers the details of the proposed lorry routing to be inaccurate.’ 10 vehicle movements a day? One Provectus document gives a maximum of 20 loads per day. That’s 20 in and 20 out plus a matching number at some time to refill the hole – I make that 80.
- Dust/Pollution – as with noise, any dust or pollution produced by the Hilltop Opencast Project is more dust and pollution regardless of statutory limits. Talk to anyone who has lived near to an opencast site and they will tell you that despite regulations and monitoring dust and pollution is horrendous.
Just trying to piece things together but I’m sure the jigsaw’s got some bits missing!
I found a Birmingham Post article about Bryn Hopkinson from earlier this year. It has some interesting stuff about his relationship with various companies involved in the redevelopment of Clay Cross in recent years. However at the end of the article it states:
Mr Hopkinson has since entered into a partnership with Provectus Remediation to pursue projects involving surface mineral extraction, remediation and restoration. Four sites are presently under consideration, three in the East Midlands and one in Wales.
We know where one of these is but where are the other two in the East Midlands?
Also, there are some interesting bits, that I have only just noticed, in the proposal Provectus submitted to Derbyshire County Council when requesting the Scoping Opinion.
4.15 Published information on soils and land quality would be referred to and a detailed soil and ALC survey would be carried out over all of the agricultural land likely to be affected by the proposed extension….
4.17 This section of the ES would describe the baseline hydrogeological characteristics of the proposed extension area and consider the potential impact of the proposed operations.
PROPOSED EXTENSION mentioned twice!!
Two other sites in the East Midlands and a ‘proposed extension’. I fear there is something here we are not being told about.
More than half the proposed open cast site boundary fronts directly onto domestic property with little or no separation from it.
There are nearly 1300 dwellings within 500 metres of the site boundary. This includes all the houses on:
- Ashover Road (up to Coupe Lane)
- Woolley Close
- Woodland Grove
- Hathaway Close
- Shakespeare Close
- Russell Gardens
- Woodland Way
- Ashton Gardens
- Cooke Close
- Oaklea Way
- Yew Tree Drive
- Harewood Crescent
- Winster Close
- Riber Crescent
- Sylvan Drive
- Coupe Lane
- North Street
- Meadow Road
- Ashbourne Avenue
- Cromford Road
- Derwent Place
- Rock Crescent
- Woodthorpe Avenue
- West Street
- Brook Street
- Woodside Place
- George Percival Place
- Stephenson Place
- Amber Place
- Valley Road
- Holmgate Road
- Peters Avenue
- Morton Avenue
- Markham Rise
- Cannell Close
- Parkhouse Close
- Colliers Way
- High Street, Clay Cross
- Derby Road
- Brassington Lane
- Nethermoor Road (to Methodist Church/Scout Hut entrance)
- Park Road
- Station New Road (down to Tupton Hall School entrance)
- Martins Lane
Approximately two thirds of these properties are actually within 200 metres of the site.
Remember in Scotland and Wales open cast mining cannot be carried out within 500 meters of dwellings. Why should we be disadvantaged for living in England?
I have received a copy of the Scoping Opinion issued by Derbyshire County Council Planning Department to Provectus on 12 March 2012. This document is:
Consideration by the Council as Mineral Planning Authority of a formal request made by CJS Planning, as agent for Provectus, for a Scoping Opinion about the issues to be considered in an Environmental Statement to accompany an intended planning application to extract coal by surface mining methods at Hill Top Farm, Clay Cross.
The document spells out all the issues that the Planning Authority expects Provectus to address in its planning application.
As this document does not appear to be available on the DCC site I am making a copy available. Click here to see the Scoping Opinion.
This afternoon Bryn Hopkinson of Provectus submitted a comment to this blog. As the owner and moderator of this site I have chosen not to approve it. (This is the first and only comment I have not approved.)
I set up this blog at my own expense to provide a focus for those opposed to the Hilltop Open Cast project. Provectus have their own web site which they are welcome to use to put forward their views and such information as they wish to put in the public domain. I do not intend to provide them with free publicity.
I have, from the start, provided links on this site to their website but they have not done the same in return!
In his comment he says that he has set up a blog on the Provectus website to address issues raised on this blog. In fact he has merely posted a statement – there is no facility for public debate or comment. [Click here to see it]
If you feel that I have made the wrong decision and should approve Bryn Hopkinson’s comment (and any further comments from Provectus) post a comment and let me know.