Smeaton Bing

Proposed Open Cast Site at Airfield Farm, Cousland

EDITOR'S NOTE. Scottish Coal's application to site an opencast coal mine at Airfield Farm, near Cousland was unaminously rejected by Midlothian Council's planning committee on 12th October 2010. The deadline for appeal of the planning refusal passed WITHOUT Scottish Coal submitting an appeal on 19th January 2011. CAAOC announced in early January that it had reached its fundraising target to pay the final bill for planning/legal advice . This therefore brings the campaign group's activities to a close. This page will no longer be updated but we will leave the information here for future reference. We would like to express our gratitude to all those who worked hard directly or indirectly to support CAAOC and raise funds for our cause.


Planning updates...

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CAAOC Campaign WebsiteCAAOC Campaign Website (NEW!)

A new website has been created by the community group Communities Against Airfield Open Cast (CAAOC) with up-to-date news and information on Scottish Coal's application to open an opencast mine at Airfield farm near Cousland.

This new website will take over from Cousland.net in keeping community members informed of the issues, late-breaking developments and things you can do to support the campaign.

The new website can be visited at www.airfieldopencast.co.uk. Please bookmark it, support us in any way you can, make a donation, make an objection and remember to re-visit for regular updates!

Facebook Campaign Groups

A number of Facebook groups have also been set up by some local community members. Feel free to voice your concerns at: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=116188831752921&v=wall

and also: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=133733889977050&v=wall


Airfield Farm - proposed open cast site

Airfield Farm - proposed open cast site

Application Plans

09/00349/FUL Extraction of coal by surface mining methods, formation of new access to A6093 and restoration to agriculture (this application is accompanied by an environmental statement prepared under the environmental impact assessment (Scotland) regulations 1999) Airfield Farm Cousland Dalkeith Midlothian EH22 2PE . (Link to submitted application documentation)

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Scottish Planning Policy 16: Opencast Coal (2005)

This Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) sets out the national planning policy framework for the working of opencast coal. Click the image above to download this document (PDF 174Kb)

Scottish Planning Policy 16: Opencast Coal (2005)

EXTRACT: "Planning authorities should use their development plans to identify areas where opencast coal extraction may be acceptable. There should be a presumption against development outwith these areas.

Within identified areas, extraction should only take place if the impact on local communities and the environment is acceptable; or if the proposal provides local or community benefits that outweigh the impacts. If this cannot be done, the presumption against development remains.

The Executive expect planning authorities and operators to work closely with local communities at all stages of the planning process. Where planning permission is granted, arrangements should be put in place to ensure that sites are properly monitored and that legitimate community concerns can be addressed quickly".

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Local residents and representatives from neighbouring communities gather in Cousland Village Hall to discuss the proposed plans for Airfield Farm

Local residents and representatives from neighbouring communities gather in Cousland Village Hall to discuss the proposed plans for Airfield Farm.
Credit: Julie-Ann Photography

Public Meeting

A public meeting was held in Cousland Village Hall on Thursday 29th August 2008 to discuss Scottish Coal's plans for an open cast coal mine at Airfield Farm near Cousland.

The hall was packed to capacity with over 120 members of the local community and many other interested parties meeting to discuss concerns over the proposal plans.

Also present were Rhona Brankin MSP for Midlothian and Lisa Beattie, Local Councillor for Ward 5, which includes the Cousland area. A number of other Councillors attended from adjacent East Lothian areas which will also be affected.

Scottish Coal gave a short update on the progress of their proposed planning application, reiterated points contained in the scoping report and took questions from the floor. They encouraged those present to make comments both to themselves and to Ian McFarlane of Midlothian Council Planning Department.

It was noted that a planning application has not yet been submitted although that is the intention. A public discussion took place involving the whole community and a subsequent show of hands reinforced the communities' view that this is a wholly unwelcome proposal and that opposition will be virtually unanimous on a wide range of contentious issues which were raised.

Rhona Brankin MSP for Midlothian speaks at the Cousland public meeting discussing proposed plans for an open cast mine at Airfield Farm

Rhona Brankin MSP for Midlothian speaks at the Cousland public meeting discussing proposed plans for an open cast mine at Airfield Farm.
Credit: Julie-Ann Photography

These concerns were identified broadly as:

Local residents of Cousland Village and the sourrounding area gather in the village hall to discuss the impact of the proposed open cast coal mine

Local residents of Cousland Village and the sourrounding area gather in the village hall to discuss the impact of the proposed open cast coal mine.
Credit: Julie-Ann Photography

Both Rhona Brankin, MSP and Lisa Beattie, Councillor asked that members of the public contact them in writing to express their concerns and views on the proposals and also encouraged communication with agencies such as Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, Historic Scotland, RSPB, Transport Scotland etc on specific issues.

You can write to:

David Hamilton MP
95 High Street, Dalkeith, Midlothian, EH22 1AX
Email: hamiltonda@parliament.uk
Website

Rhona Brankin MSP Midlothian
P.O. Box 11, 95 High Street, Dalkeith, EH22 1AX
Website

Scottish Parliament
Rhona Brankin MSP, The Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh EH99 1SP
Telephone: 0131 654 1585
RNID TypeTalk calls welcome
Fax: 0131 654 1586
Telephone: 0131 348 5838 Fax: 0131 348 5988
Email: Rhona.Brankin.msp@scottish.parliament.uk

Lisa Beattie, Councillor Ward 5 Midlothian
Tel. 0131 271 3090
Email: lisa.beattie@midlothian.gov.uk
Website

Representatives from Scottish Coal give the local residents of Cousland Village an update on the open cast mine plans

Representatives from Scottish Coal give the local residents of Cousland Village an update on the open cast mine plans.
Credit: Julie-Ann Photography

Midlothian Planning
Ian McFarlane, Planning Officer (Major Developments)
or
Ian Johnson, Head of Planning
Midlothian Council, Fairfield House, 8 Lothian Road, Dalkeith, EH22 3ZN
Email: ian.johnson@midlothian.gov.uk

East Lothian
Iain Gray MSP
65 High Street, Tranent, East Lothian, EH33 1LN
Tel. 01875 616 610
Email. iain.gray.msp@scottish.parliament.uk

Constituents in East Lothian are encouraged to contact their ward councillors

Ruth Currie, Robert Knox and John Hume have expressed their opposition to the plans.

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Further information and contacts

Please go to www.airfieldopencast.co.uk

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Links

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Cousland Community Cafe