§ 39. Wing-Commander G. Cooper
asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what is the area of land absorbed since the commencement of opencast mining; what land is scheduled for opencast mining; and how much land has been fully reinstated so that it can again be used for farm land.
§ Mr. P. Noel-Baker
From the beginning of operations in 1942 until the end of March this year, 56,000 acres of land had been requisitioned for the opencast working of coal. About 51,000 acres were agricultural land, of which 28,000 acres have been restored, and are again available for farming use. If the present programme is carried out, 45 million tons of opencast coal will be extracted within the next four years; this might necessitate the requisitioning of about 30,000 acres of additional land.