mining applications. This example demonstrates what ‘temporary’ can really mean for a company such as UK Coal plc determined not to honour the planning obligations it freely entered into. The Lounge site has now been in ‘temporary’ use for nearly a quarter of a century, and it has supposed to have been undergoing restoration since 2005. As it is, the site is a testament to the persistence of a company seeking to maximise private gain over the public benefit that would be derived if it honoured the obligations the company first entered into and had restored the site in 2005.
Rossington, the last of the case examples, is different again. This case shows that UK Coal plc will go to some lengths to prevent the real scope of its plans from being revealed too early, to prevent people putting a stop to them. Unfortunately for UK Coal plc and their confederates in this case, inappropriate plans were exposed by a vigilant editor of a local newspaper before real decisions that could have affected the village and more than tripled its size had been made.
Rossington is an ex colliery village that lies to the south of Doncaster in Yorkshire, population about 13,000. The controversy that developed here recently involved what UK Coal plc wanted to do with its 200 acre brown field site which was all that remained of the Rossington Colliery, which closed in 2000. Unbeknown to local people UK Coal plc had ambitious plans.
Plans for what UK Coal had in mind were indicated in the 2006 Annual Report which mentioned that in 2007 preliminary planning work was being initiated on a mixed development plus housing proposals. By the time the 2008 Annual Report was published the size of the site had grown to 359 acres (the site now included 159 green field acres) and the plan had grown to seeking permission for 125 acre employment site and an Eco-Town. By then however Rossington was in uproar over the proposals.
This was partly due to the involvement of a local Rossington Parish Councillor, Malcolm Clerk. He was revealed as being a Director of Rossington Hall Developments, the company along with UK Coal plc, Persimmon Homes, Helio Slough and Spawforths who were initial members of the Rossington Eco-Town Partnership, the main proposers of the idea of building 15,000 houses in the new Eco Town. The Editor of the Rossington Newsletter revealed these facts to a meeting of Rossington Parish Council in February 2008. Jim Oldfield, the Editor of the Rossington Newsletter had raised questions about whether Mr Clerk had made his interest in the Eco-Town proposals known at previous meetings where the future Local Development Framework plan had been discussed. 19
In April 2008 the Government published it shortlist of 15 proposed bids for the proposed Eco Towns. The list included Rossington. One of the initial attractions of the ‘Eco Town‘ label for developers was
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