About Huntington Lane
In 2007 UK Coal submitted plans to Telford and Wrekin Council to open cast mine 900,000 tons of poor quality coal from an area at the foot of the Wrekin in Telford over 32 months. The plans included destroying parts of an ancient woodland and will be responsible for a minimum of 2,430,000 tonnes of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere. The Wrekin is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is also home to the protected scheduled New Works Ancient Monument. The development will also involve the disturbance of four badger setts and the foraging territories of a further two badger clans. The plans were met with strong opposition from the local community with both residents and the council united against the application. In-spite of so much opposition however central government overruled the wishes of the community and late last year the then Secretary of State for Communities, John Denham backing the planning inspector found in favor of UK Coal and the open cast coal mine was approved.
The coal that will be extracted from the mine is of a low quality and cannot be used directly in a power station, it must first be processed and mixed with imported coal. This debunks one of the main arguments UK Coal have used to justify the mine by saying that using local coal will reduce our dependence on coal imported from abroad.
The other argument used to justify the mine is that it will create jobs. However opencast mines only require a small number of people and these jobs will all go to their existing employees, thus doing little for local employment.
As part of the deal UK Coal have promised they will restore the area once they have finished. However they have offered similar promises in the past when working on other mines and have completely ignored them by applying for planning permission to develop the land. One indicator of their future plans for the site is that Jon Lloyd the chief executive of UK Coal spent most of his career in the property development business before joining UK Coal.
A coalition of activists and local residents swooped and occupied the site after UK Coal felled the Trees in the middle of New Works wood to make way for a haul road signaling the start of work on the mine. The occupation is still going strong and has now been stopping work on the mine for over 8th months. During that time a network of tunnels have been established, tree house’s have been built, a fortified tower has gone up and a fortress has been built along with a other defense’s across the site. The camp has seen support come from across the county as it prepares for the expected eviction order.
How to get to the camp
Contact the Camp
Site phone: 07503 583419