Page last updated at 12:05 GMT, Tuesday, 28 April 2009 13:05 UK

Protest held at opencast inquiry

Protestors at the opencast coalmine public inquiry
Opponents objected to the plans on the grounds of noise and traffic issues

Protesters have been gathering outside a hotel where a public inquiry has started into plans for an opencast coal mine near The Wrekin in Shropshire.

UK Coal wants to extract 900,000 tonnes near Little Wenlock every year and says the planned site would be restored to green fields after several years.

Opponents have gathered outside Grays Hotel in Telford where the six-week inquiry is ongoing.

Telford and Wrekin Council refused planning permission for the scheme.

The council's refusal led to the public inquiry and protestors said it was vital the site was protected from development.

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

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