Minorca - Proposed Opencast Coal Mine

Minorca - Proposed Opencast Coal Mine

A proposed opencast coal mine on a largely agricultural site, covering an area of approximately 130ha, located in Leicestershire. The site has historically been used as a deep coal mine and the remnants of old spoil heaps remain.

We were commissioned by UK Coal to prepare and submit a planning application and supporting Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

The ecology of this site is complicated by the presence of the Gilwiskaw Brook (a SAC) which passes through the centre of the site. The brook is a tributary of the River Meece and contains European protected species including bullhead and spined loach. In addition to the sensitive aquatic environment, the terrestrial habitat is home to great crested newts and acts as a breeding and nesting habitat for a number of UK BAP bird species.

As a consequence it was recognised at an early stage of the preparation of the application that ecology would be a key issue. We undertook a significant amount of advanced survey work and this represented a key consideration in the overall design of the site.

Findings have formed an integral section to the application submitted to Leicestershire County Council.