A company hoping to extract millions of tonnes of coal from Midlothian has offered reassurances that the excavated site would be fully restored.
Hargreaves Plc has been confirmed as the new applicant for an opencast mine at Cauldhall Moor, near Rosewell.
Before going into liquidation in May, original applicant Scottish Coal had faced opposition to its plans to remove 10 million tonnes of coal from the site.
The Stop Cauldhall Opencast campaign group remains concerned. A spokesman said: “The problem with opencast is that it is not profitable unless you can get rid of the responsibility for restoring sites.
“We haven’t seen any evidence that Hargreaves are any more likely to meet their restoration commitments than Scottish Coal. They are a bit of an unknown quantity and will be looking to remove as much coal as they can before getting out as quickly as possible.
“Unless there is a system in place to hold them to their responsibility to restore sites, we are going to end up with great big holes in the ground.
Read full story in the August 29 edition of the Midlothian Advertiser.