HC Deb 15 October 1942 vol 383 cc1768-9
71. Mr. Wilson

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power on whose advice and/or authority a search was made for coal at Staveley, adjoining the Worksop main road; what cost was incurred; at whose expense; what weight of coal was secured; why the whole of the excavation is now filled in and hedges made good; what area of crops was damaged; and whether the owners thereof are to be compensated?

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Fuel and Power (Mr. T. Smith)

Prospecting at this site was undertaken after consultation with the Geological Survey. Although the existence of old workings on the site was known, test borings suggested that there was a considerable area of coal which it was decided to work by opencast methods. After a portion of the overburden had been stripped and the extent of the old workings was revealed, the project was abandoned and the land restored without any coal being won. About two acres of crops was damaged. The cost to my Ministry of prospecting and making good the site is estimated to be about £5,650, exclusive of compensation payable to the owners, which will be negotiated by the District Valuer, Inland Revenue.

Mr. Wilson

Why was this large expenditure incurred when it is well known by people in the district that no coal was obtainable?

Mr. Smith

In exploring for coal worked by this method there is a certain amount of risk, but every care is taken. This was only abandoned when it was found that it was not worth proceeding with.