Page last updated at 08:56 GMT, Wednesday, 8 July 2009 09:56 UK

Bid to end open cast mine protest

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The protesters say their campaign has the full support of the local community

Objectors against an open cast mine development in South Lanarkshire say moves have begun to remove protesters.

Up to 30 campaigners have dug themselves in at the Mainshill Wood Scottish Coal site in Douglas.

Scottish Coal has been given permission to mine about 1.7 million tonnes of coal from the site.

A spokesman for Strathclyde Police said officers were dealing with the situation. An eviction notice was granted earlier this month.

Tree-felling

Officers arrived on Wednesday morning and have been removing the barricades the protesters set up.

One of the protesters, who identified himself as Ross, said police and drilling contractors had "forced their way on to the site and removed our barricades".

He said: "When we occupied this place there was illegal work happening. There was tree-felling and drilling to work out the extent of coal reserves on the site and that was something we wanted to stop because it contravenes the planning permissions.

"So they have been removing all that machinery from the site this morning."

Ross said there were still many protesters on the site.

He said the campaign had put a lot of pressure on the landowner Lord Home and Scottish Coal.

"We are hoping Scottish Coal will wake up and see what level of community opposition there is to this project and how many people don't want a mine on their doorstep," he added.

Scottish Coal declined to comment.



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