Coal Mining Risk Assessment Approval

DBS have had a Coal Mining Risk Assessment report accepted by North Tyneside Council for a new residential housing development on a large 27 hectare brownfield site.  The development proposals also included provision of a new school, along with highways and infrastructure.

The risk assessment report was prepared to support a planning application for a change of use at the site, the site itself had suffered extensive impact from coal mining historically.

Several large coal seams had been worked at shallow depth beneath areas of the site, parts of the site had been opencasted and backfilled, and five mine entries (shafts) were located on the site, or within close proximity to the site boundary.

As such, the site was classified as being within a Coal Authority “High Risk” area for mining, and DBS was appointed by our developer client to prepare a Coal Mining Risk Assessment for the site.  The risk assessment report prepared by DBS was undertaken to the requirements of the recent Coal Authority guidance document, “Risk Based Approach to Development Management, Resources for Developers (2013)”.

The aim and scope of the report was to identify all potential risks and constraints to new surface development at the site from mining activities, and to identify to the Local Planning Authority (LPA) how risks were going to be controlled with a mitigation strategy.

The overall aim of the report was to demonstrate that the site could be redeveloped safely, without ground stability risks, to meet the requirement of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) with regard to development on unstable land.

As part of our assessment we reviewed the sites history using published Ordnance Survey mapping, the sites history was reviewed back to the mid 1800’s to identify surface activity (opencasting and mine entries), we reviewed published BGS geological Plans to determine the sites geology,  we reviewed existing historical ground investigation information available for the site to identify recorded and probable shallow mining risks, we also ordered and reviewed a current Coal Mining report from the Coal Authority, and we obtained information from the LPA on the presence and location of mine entries, and also capping details where information was available.

After reviewing the available information for the site, we identified and assessed site specific coal mining risks, and prepared a mitigation strategy identifying how the site could be redeveloped safely.  Risk mitigation was confirmed for shallow mining, mine entries, mine gas emissions (methane and carbon dioxide) and unstable ground from opencasting.

DBS also prepared a Phase 1 Geoenvironemntal Desk Study for the site, also to support the planning application for a change of use, and to commence the risk assessment process for the site with regards to contaminated land and in ground geotechnical risks.

If you have a development site that is going through planning and would like to know if it is in a High Risk Area for mining, or, you would like a friendly informal chat around mining risks and/or a free cost proposal for a mining risk assessment report, then contact us on 0800 772 0053 (free to call from landlines) / 0191 5018052, or drop us a line at





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