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PLAN TO CURB OPENCAST MINES

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The government will tomorrow apply tight new limits on the development of opencast coal mines in an effort to prote...
The government will tomorrow apply tight new limits on the development of opencast coal mines in an effort to protect the environment and local communities, according to The Financial Times (p8).

Richard Caborn, minister for the regions, will publish a 'very robust planning framework' which is likely to stop most plans for new opencast mines.

The new rules mean for the first time there will be a presumtion against opencast mining unless it is environmentally acceptable or provides overriding local benefits.

Mr Caborn will also give councils powers to ensure that opencast operators clean up sites afterwards. Local authorities will also be able to demand financial guarantees, in the form of restoration bonds, to ensure that the operator restores the site properly and on time.
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