Key facts and statements

HESLEY WOOD SPOIL TIP BACKGROUND

  • The tip was established in 1938 as a colliery spoil heap.
  • It became the spoil tip for the Smithywood coking plant until 1972.
  • Natural regeneration has taken place over 40 years and the site now has well-established trees and other vegetation along with a diverse wildlife population. This wildlife is not considered valuable, as the species are not in the protected categories.

PREVIOUS PLANNING APPLICATIONS

  • 1979 – Reclamation and restoration scheme; granted 14 March 1980 by SYCC.
  • 1987 – Extraction, separation and washing scheme (British Coal); refused September 1987 by SCC.
  • 2007  – Importation of soil making material for site restoration (Yorkshire Forward); granted with conditions August 2008 by SCC.

RecyCoal state they have been involved in all of these schemes

RECYCOAL’S SCHEME

  • To extract 395,000 tonnes of coal by excavating the spoil tip and washing some 3.3 million cubic meters of spoil.
  • To sell the recovered coal to power stations, most likely Eggborough near Selby.
  • To operate the site 24 hours per day Monday to Friday and 6.5 hours on Saturdays for a minimum of 3 years.
  • To back fill the site with washed material, plus other materials to create a landscape similar to what exists.
  • To lay 5km of paths, 1.5km of vehicle track from Smithy Wood   road to Coppice Drive, and re plant trees with saplings.

ISSUES

  • HAZARDOUS TO HEALTH
  • FLOOD RISK
  • ENVIRONMENT
  • TRANSPORTATION OF COAL
  • WHAT THEY LEAVE BEHIND

HEALTH

  • Dr. Van Steenis MBBS one of UK’s leading experts on air pollution –
  • Dust produced from digging coal waste contains fine microscopic toxic particles which may lead to lung damage when inhaled and increase the risk of asthma, COPD, heart attacks, type 2 diabetes and clinical depression.
  • The particles can travel up to 3 miles, depending on wind direction.
  • Spraying with water cannot completely remove these particles.
  • These fine particles cannot be seen.
  • Fuel used by heavy equipment is normally industrial diesel which is toxic, and contains these fine particles
  • RecyCoal admit that these particles will travel up to 300metres – well within reach of the children’s play area and BMX track. Dr Van Steenis says they will travel up to a 3 mile radius of the work being carried out.
  • These fine particles cannot be seen.

DOUGLASDALE STUDY

  • Incidence of COHD – twice as common
  • Asthma and hypertension up by 44%
  • Hypothyroidism up by 80%
  • Cancer rates up by 250%
  • Chronic Kidney disease rates have doubled in the last  2 years

–       American studies showed an increase in coal mining areas

CANCER

  • Greater Clydesdale has 5% less Cancer sufferers compared to Southern Scotland
  • Douglasdale (in Greater Clydesdale) has 23% more Cancer sufferers than Southern Scotland

OTHER STUDIES

    • 16 Peer reviewed studies

– 12 showed significant health impact
– 1 showed increased lung cancer regardless of previous COPD or not
– 2 quantifies Dust/Air quality

EFFECT ON OUR CHILDREN

  • Liverpool based study (Bootle Dock area)

–  Compared with controlled area (not exposed)

  • Higher respiratory symptoms

–  Cough, wheeze, school absences
–  Irrespective of whether parents smoked/worked
Archives of diseases in childhood 1994,70,305-12
 

RESIDENTS NEAR COKE WORKS IN BRITAIN

  • 3% More deaths in residents with 2Km of coke works

       – this increase was less, if more than 2Km but less than 7.5Km

  • 5% more cardiovascular disease
  • 6% more ischaemic heart disease
  • 2% more respiratory deaths

CONTAMINANTS

  • Contaminants on the site – Arsenic, Copper, Zinc, Lead, Nickel, Asbestos, Benzene
  • Large area of contamination will be “capped” and not removed.
  • Contaminants in other areas of the site are of little significance !!!

NOISE

  • Working from 7.00am until early evening within 50 metres of back gardens
  • Washplant positioned next to the motorway, working 24 hours a day 5.5 days a week (maintenance on Sunday’s).

ENVIRONMENT

  • FLOODING  – Cowley Lane/Woodburn Drive identified as Medium probability for flooding (Saturday 24th August).
  • DRAINAGE – after the scheme will be via the culvert under the houses on Woodburn Drive/210 Cowley Lane.
  • STORAGE – There will be storage and settlement pond behind houses on Cowley Drive, which will be 3,000 square metre in area (120m long and 25m wide) (a football pitch is typically 104 by 68 ) and 3.9m deep (the deep end of a normal swimming pool is 2.5m)
  • REMOVAL – of existing trees and vegetation will reduce the amount of water absorbed on site and will increase the flow of water off site

ECOLOGY –

  • They have reported on various aspects of the site including Birds, Bats, Badgers and insects.
  • All the reports are out of date
  • Some reports were done at the wrong time of the year giving limited information.
  • No over wintering bird survey
  • Insect survey not at time of highest level of activity
  • Existing well established trees to be felled and sold off for BIOMASS use.

TRANSPORT

  • Recovered coal to be transported off site by 30 tonne lorries approximately 26,000 vehicles over the 3 years
  • Smithywood Road to have restricted parking to allow access to site
  • Additional vehicles for staff, visitors, contractors etc. not quantified
  • Wheel wash on site which has no environmental impact assessment. (Brake dust. Contaminated soils etc.)

FUTURE

  • Replanting with 45 – 60 cm saplings not mature trees
  • Oak trees make up 48% of replanting and grow at 1.5 ft per year.
  • Other trees will be planted and these also grow at 1.5 to 2 ft per year.
  • The site will be maintained by RecyCoal for approximately 5 years, but there is no further information about what will happen after then.
  • Site will be secured by A-frame gates, like the Park to limit vehicle access.

Grimesthorpe Site – 4 years on