Villagers sign protest petition against coal ash extraction plan

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CAMPAIGNERS ARE fighting plans to dig out 40,000 cubic metres of coal ash in the heart of a former mining village in South Yorkshire amid health fears.

More than 100 residents of Elsecar, Barnsley, have put
their names to a petition opposing the application from Mario Monfredi for an extraction and restoration scheme on an old industrial site close to the train station.

They claim the work, which would last a year, will pollute the air with “toxic” coal ash containing arsenic, mercury and other heavy metals posing a threat to the health of people living in the area.

But JVN Architecture, which is working on behalf on Mr Monfredi, has proposed a series of measures designed to control dust generation.

Sarah Preston, who set up the petition, said: “The health risks of coal ash are well known and widely documented.

“The toxic coal ash this application hopes to extract would contaminate the air that we breathe. Many of the local residents already suffer respiratory issues, this would exacerbate existing health problems.”

June Backhouse, who has lived in the area for 70 years, told The Yorkshire Post: “This is a residential area in a small village. The roads won’t be able to cope with wagons and a year of work.”

The application is due to go before Barnsley Council’s planning committee in September.