§ Lord Northbourne
asked Her Majesty's Government:
How many deep pits and how many opencast mining operations respectively operated by British Coal occupy part or the whole of the surface of their sites under a lease or licence and how many wholly under freehold tenure, and what percentage of the total is represented by each.
§ The Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Strathclyde)
British Coal's land ownership is a matter for the corporation. I understand that, of the collieries to be offered for sale, five include land held under a lease, which accounts for about 6 per cent. of the land occupied by collieries. Of the operating opencast sites to be privatised, 29 include some land held under leasehold but none is wholly leasehold. British Coal owns the freehold of about 85 per cent. of the total area of opencast sites.