Permission granted for Surface Coal Mine in Scotland

Environmental firm, SLR Consulting has secured planning permission for the phased extraction of 945,000 tonnes of coal at Rigg North, Kirkconnel in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

Working for Aardvark TMC Ltd, on behalf of ATH Resources Plc, permission was granted following an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) where SLR was able to demonstrate the project’s compliance with the local development plan. The EIA covered issues including landscape and visual amenity, ecology, hydrology, air quality, noise, blasting, transportation and the potential for cumulative effects to occur.

The surface mine, which is intended to produce coal for the energy sector and for domestic usage, will be developed over seven years with coal extraction taking place over five years.

Peter Wheelan, SLR Senior Planner and Project Manager for the instruction, who is based in the Glasgow office, said: “Although surface mining can raise significant environmental issues, Scottish coal extraction is necessary and continues to play an important role in sustaining diverse energy supplies”.

ATH Resources Project Manager Jo Davies, said: “SLR was very professional to work with and managed to secure planning permission for a major project within a tight deadline and on budget.”

The 170 hectare development will now be subject to a legal agreement, required to control the operational phasing of surface mines in the vicinity and to safeguard site restoration.

Rigg North, which will be operated as a successor to ATH’s existing Glenmuckloch Surface Coal Mine, is expected to create around 30 jobs.