Coal Mining Risk Assessments

Risk Based Approach to Planning, Mining & Subsidence Engineering, Coal and Other Mining Reports

The Coal Authority are responsible for the historical coal mining legacy in the United Kingdom and have issued guidance on how the risk from past coal mining can be reduced by the preparation of a risk assessment for development in coal mining areas.

Old underground coal mine workingsMost planning applications now require a Coal Mining Risk Assessment to be submitted with the application assessing the risk from historical coalmining and detailing the method to mitigate and minimise the future risk of mining subsidence.

Our team of engineers and surveyors provide mining reports and advise how mining may have affected the land and any future development on that land. The submission of the CMRA is usually a desk based study of the mine plans, the geological plans, the shaft records and treatment and a prediction of subsidence in the past and future.

Background

The practice has been involved in mining since 2002 and our founding Director has advised landowners on coal interests and historical coal mining activity for over 25 years. The company hold a large archive of mine plans and records dating back to 1872. The Director has worked in the coal mining industry as a colliery surveyor.

The practice has undertaken subsidence predictions, shallow mine working investigations, treatment of mine shafts, day holes and surface mining of shallow coal and clay with compaction. Permission is sought from the Coal Authority on treating mine workings and reducing the risk of coal mining subsidence from deeper seams by risk assessment.

We have also dealt with mining operations that have extracted stone, sand, lead and industrial minerals by underground means in the UK.

Assessments can be undertaken in coal mining areas to ascertain the risk of mining subsidence and factor in the build process ways of mitigating the cost of repairs or specialist design. Most Planning Authorities now require a Coal Mining Risk Assessment report to support a planning application for construction.
Our engineers provide a comprehensive service to developers, property purchasers and solicitors on mineral working and in particular mine working in the productive coal field of the UK.

The main areas of production were Durham and Northumberland, Cumbria near to Workington and Whitehaven, West and South Yorkshire, Derbyshire. Nottinghamshire, and Leicestershire, Birmingham and the Black Country, North Wales, Lancashire around Wigan, St Helens to Manchester, Burnley and the Pennine region near Accrington, Scottish Coalfield between Glasgow and Edinburgh and South Wales. There has been coal mining in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire and Betteshanger in Kent also.

Land Purchase

The main concern is mine shafts and adits (day holes at the surface) in proximity to a property when it changes ownership and the coal mining search identifies a mine opening within 25 metres of the property. Most lenders will view a mine opening as being too high a risk for lending purposes due to the risk of collapse of ground near the mine opening or subsidence.

Our engineers offer solutions by way of risk based assessment for property holders on the likelihood of future damage to a property either from the mine opening or subsidence from old coal, or other mineral workings.
Advice on capping shafts and adits and filling mine workings can be provided and full supervision of the investigation and treatment will be agreed with the Coal Authority or in the case of non-coal mining the Health and Safety Executive with costs prior to purchase of the land.

Safeguarded Minerals (Coal)

The planning regime now requires that some minerals are safeguarded from development or they are assessed for quality, need and treatment and it is likely that in the future housing developers and commercial project managers will need to justify to the Planning Authority and in the case of coal, the Coal Authority how the minerals might be worked prior to redevelopment of a site and if not justification why the minerals should be sterilised.

Our engineers are able to undertake the risk assessments and the geological modelling to ascertain the way forward to develop land that has minerals beneath by working the mineral before development or protecting it for future generations after the development has been built.

For any other information please do not hesitate to contact John Carlon or a member of the office team who will be happy to help.

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