Plans for Garswood opencast mine scrapped

Michael Hunt

LEM Mining's final appeal to create a huge opencast coal mine at Carter's Fold in Garswood has been rejected by the planning inspectorate.

The Bury-based firm had instigated a public inquiry last month after its resubmitted plans were refused last November by a margin of twelve votes to two.

The controversial plans for the St Helens site were first submitted four years ago.

Three St Helens areas, including Garswood, Billinge and Haydock, stood to be affected by the plans if the appeal was successful and a well-known walk to local residents, the Garswood Loop, was also set to be affected.

Under the terms of the initial planning application, the site, which consists of agricultural land between Garswood Old Road and Arch Lane, was set to become an opencast mine for two years.

But many residents, who objected to the plans because of traffic, pollution, noise, the visual impact and the risk of destroying an area of green belt land, were concerned that excavation would continue beyond the two-year deadline.

The company had a site at Crock Hey in Garswood which was initially planned to be open for two years, but ended up running for six.

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