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Telford coal mine site left as an eyesore

Telford | News | Published:

A former mine at the foot of the landmark Wrekin is lying untouched, two years after work was completed.

The site was being used by UK Coal, but the company left the site in 2013.

Since then it has become an inconvenience for residents who claim they were told the land would be restored once the work was completed.

Nothing has happened and people living in the area say it is an eyesore for visitors and a daily problem for them. Included in the restoration plans was a footpath linking New Works and The Wrekin, which ramblers and dog walkers could use.

One resident Janet Mees-Robinson, who lives opposite the site at Arleston Hill, said she wants answers about what is going to happen to the site.

"The site has been empty for about two years now, you can see smoke every now and then but what's going on, nobody knows," she said.

"We have asked Telford & Wrekin Council when the site will be restored and it keeps saying anytime soon, but we are yet to see any improvement.

"We don't know what to do, but it's just not fair on the people wanting to use the rights of way footpaths as nobody can access them. People who want to get into the bluebell woods or ride their bikes are unable to do so and they are being deprived of this land."

She added: "We have tried and tried to get some sort of answers from the council and UK Coal but so far have received none.

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"When the plans for the site were first put forward many residents objected to the proposals.

"And I have heard the coal that was on the site was not useful at all and couldn't be used by the power station in Ironbridge. It was then given to a company all the way in Nottingham, so I fail to see what they got from being at the site in the first place.

"As residents we think the land is being earmarked for housing, but we cannot confirm that as we haven't heard anything."

The company extracted more than 800,000 tonnes of coal from the site and said once it closed the land would be restored. In 2013 it was announced that UK Coal were to make staffing cuts after the company went into administration. But around 40 workers at the Huntington Lane site were told their jobs were safe.

UK Coal completed a restructuring plan that saw UK Coal Mine Holdings and UK Coal Operations Ltd appoint administrators at a cost of 350 jobs, mainly from its Daw Mill operation in Warwickshire.

UK Coal and Telford & Wrekin Council were unable to comment.

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