Green light for new surface coal mine in Scotland
SLR secure planning permission for 945,000-tonne Rigg North mine in Dumfries and Galloway
ENVIRONMENTAL firm SLR Consulting have secured planning permission for the phased extraction of 945,000 tonnes of coal at Rigg North, near Kirkconnel, in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.
Working for Aardvark TMC Ltd, on behalf of ATH Resources plc, permission was granted following an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) where SLR were able to demonstrate the project’s compliance with the local development plan.
The EIA covered issues including landscape and visual amenity, ecology, hydrology, air quality, noise, blasting, transportation and the potential for cumulative effects to occur.
The surface mine, which is intended to produce coal for the energy sector and for domestic usage, will be developed over seven years with coal extraction taking place over five years.
Peter Wheelan, SLR senior planner and project manager for the instruction, said: ‘Although surface mining can raise significant environmental issues, Scottish coal extraction is necessary and continues to play an important role in sustaining diverse energy supplies.’
The 170ha development will now be subject to a legal agreement, required to control the operational phasing of surface mines in the vicinity and to safeguard site restoration.
Rigg North, which will be operated as a successor to ATH’s existing Glenmuckloch surface coal mine, is expected to create around 30 jobs.