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Opencast Mining

Volume 124: debated on Monday 14 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many times since 1979 Her Majesty's Government have approved proposals to opencast sites under the Opencast Coal Act 1958 or the Town and Country Planning Act 1971.

Between 1 January 1979 and 8 December 1987, 78 authorisations were issued in respect of British Coal Corporation — formerly National Coal Board —opencast sites in England. Requests for information in respect of sites in Scotland and Wales should be addressed to the respective Secretaries of State for those countries.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many times since 1979 Her Majesty's Government have approved proposals to opencast sites under the Opencast Coal Act 1958 or the Town and Country Planning Act 1971 when the inspector has recommended that those proposals be dismissed.

Information is available only for the period commencing March 1984 when the then National Coal Board Opencast Executive was brought into the planning system. Since that date an inspector's recommendation of dismissal has been overturned once.