Page last updated at 15:53 GMT, Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Public inquiry due for coal mine

Countryside near the site of the proposed mine
UK Coal said it would restore the site to greenfield within four years

A public inquiry will start in April over plans to create an opencast mine near The Wrekin in Shropshire.

UK Coal submitted an application in 2007 to extract 900,000 tonnes of coal near Huntington Lane over 32 months.

But the firm said Telford and Wrekin Council was taking too long to reach a decision and the matter was referred to the planning inspectorate last year.

The council has until 28 January to formally submit its position regarding the mine to the planning inspector.

Job creation

Residents previously raised concerns about noise, dust and lorry movements from the mine and its possible impact on tourism.

The council said it had called a "special" planning meeting on Thursday for members to discuss the application for an opencast coal mine at Huntington, in Little Wenlock.

It has also commissioned a Health Impact Assessment to look at the health effects of the proposed mine, which it hopes will be taken into consideration at the public inquiry.

UK Coal said the mine would create 90 jobs and the site would be restored to green fields within four years of operations starting.

The public inquiry is due to start on 28 April.

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