HC Deb 06 July 1953 vol 517 cc843-4
14. Mr. Oliver

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he will reconsider his decision to authorise the prospecting for opencast coal in the urban district of Heanor, Derbyshire, having regard to the large number of sites which have already been worked and which have caused discomfort and annoyance to the people in the area and encroached on the limited amount of land suitable and available for house building purposes.

Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd

No, Sir. Prospecting does no appreciable harm and it is most desirable that the National Coal Board should find out what coal may be available for working in case of need. If further coal is found and the Board seek my authority to work it I can assure the hon. and learned Gentleman that I will bear his views in mind before coming to a decision.

Mr. Oliver

I am very much obliged to the right hon. Gentleman for his reply, but does he appreciate that in this part of Derbyshire there has been so much opencast coal working that there is very little land now left for houses for miners? We are getting into a very acute situation in that respect.

Mr. J. T. Price

Does the Minister realise that owing to the high cost of machinery used in opencast mining there is a strong temptation in some quarters to use this machinery seven days a week without regard for the convenience or comfort of the people who have to suffer from the noise developed by these machines?

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