Fresh objections as plan for opencast mine close to Yorkshire Sculpture Park revived

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PLANS to carry out opencast mining close to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park have been revived just over a year after they were rejected by councillors.

Gordon Harrison has asked for planning permission to mine 190,000 tonnes of coal and 40,000 tonnes of fireclay on land at Litherop Lane, west of the sculpture park, near Wakefield.

According to the application, 12 people would be employed on the 18-hectare site which would be served by three lorries an hour. The company is proposing to give donations totalling £80,000 to local community projects.

A similar application was rejected by Kirklees Council in April last year.

Neighbouring Wakefield Council is set to ask Kirklees to reject the new application out of hand.

As well as protecting the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the council also has an interest in the planned transformation of the grade II listed Bretton Hall into a five-star hotel.

A letter from Wakefield Council planning officers, which is expected to be supported by councillors next week, urges Kirklees to dismiss the application on the grounds that it is very similar to the one it had already turned down last year.

It argues that the new application does not do enough to overcome the original reasons for rejection.

The letter also points out that the proposed site lies within the Grade II listed Bretton Park.

It says: “We remain of the opinion that the mining activity is not consistent with the aims to conserve the heritage asset and should not be encouraged in this location.”

The report adds: “The development proposal, in our opinion will lead to direct harm to the significance of a designated
heritage asset, and will also harm the setting of other heritage assets within the Bretton Hall Estate and Yorkshire Sculpture Park.”