Residents join battle to stop Sheffield coal mining project

Cowley Residents Action Group outside Shefffielkd Town Hall as they oppose the planned opencast site at Thorpe Hesley.
Cowley Residents Action Group outside Shefffielkd Town Hall as they oppose the planned opencast site at Thorpe Hesley.
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CAMPAIGNERS fighting plans to excavate thousands of tonnes of coal close to their homes have taken their battle to Sheffield Council.

Protestors from Cowley Residents Action Group took to the city centre to gather support for their fight against Doncaster-based RecyCoal’s plans for the former Hesley Wood tip in Chapeltown.

The firm wants to remove 395,000 tonnes of coal over years to supply Eggborough power station near Goole, North Yorkshire.

Campaigners say the proposals not only pose a threat to the wildlife and natural habitat, but also carry flood and health risks.

Members of Crag, which consists of residents of the Cowley estate, have collected 5,000 signatures on a petition opposing the scheme, which is due before members of the council’s north and west planning board for a decision next month.

Members delivered the petition to Sheffield Town Hall this week – it is hoped the number of names will pressure the authority into hosting a full council meeting.

Crag member Chris Sumners, of Woodburn Drive, said: “It will mean four years of dust and noise. It will lower life expectancy and create all kinds of problems.

“There will be flood risks if they cut down trees absorbing all the water, it will destroy the abundance of wildlife. It’s corporate vandalism.”

Terry Sharp, aged 61, of Glenwood Crescent, Chapeltown said: “Some of us will be as close as 30 yards to it. It’s unacceptable.

“The people of Chapeltown were not consulted. We have had to research everything ourselves.”

RecyCoal say its proposals will create 35 jobs and has promised to minimise the impact on the environment.