Opencast plan wins councillors’ backing

digging in: The plan is for the coal to be transferred above the main road, transported  by truck then loaded at a newly-opened rail yard.
digging in: The plan is for the coal to be transferred above the main road, transported by truck then loaded at a newly-opened rail yard.
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WORK to mine nearly 800,000 tonnes of coal over a four- year period from a site near Wellsgreen looks set to be given the green-light.

Hall Construction services, which is currently mining further down the Standing Stane Road near to the Coaltown of Wemyss turn-off at Earlseat, wants to continue its work further towards Leven, near to the driving range.

The coal would be transported across the Standing Stane on a conveyor belt above the road where it will be blended with different coal imported to the site to create a better quality.

Interestingly, after it reaches the other side of the road, it will then be carried by lorry to Tullybrek Farm, where a section of the former Leven rail track has been re-opened, before carrying on to Kirkcaldy and then to a power station in Yorkshire.

Councillors of the Levenmouth area committee were asked to give their thoughts on the plan when they met at Buckhaven Community Centre.

Councillor Alistair Hunter said: “What we have learned from Earlseat has been very positive; there has been no community representations saying they have been concerned.

“I’m relatively relaxed about this going ahead.

“It’s part of the history of this area and who we are.”

Within the mining site is the former Wellsgreen Bing and the proposal involves its removal to improve ground stability when the site is eventually restored following the mining work.

The final proposed restoration will aim to return the landscape to a character more appropriate to its setting and encourage wildlife by providing new habitats.

It’s suggested that the mining work will provide employment for up to 30 people.

Chair of the Levenmouth committee Cllr Tom Adams, said: “I’m all for this, particularly if it’s helping to create jobs for local people.”

Cllr David Graham said he was also behind the proposal, subject to appropriate traffic measures being put in place.

With Wellsgreen golf range not far from the site, Cllr Andrew Rodger added that he hoped the developers would be a “good neighbour” to the facility.

Due to the work overlapping boundary areas, it will now be considered by the Kirkcaldy and Glenrothes area committees.