With the days becoming longer, temperatures warmer (hopefully), Brexit done and a new Government, we can all concentrate on providing the services to build houses, places of work and leisure, over the next few years.
We are doing our bit by working with our clients in the quarrying and mining sectors to provide the building materials to build houses in stone and brick, provide aggregate for concrete, concrete blocks, roof tiles and paving.
Over the past 6 months we have secured planning permission for two building stone quarries and completed the mine planning work on a clay deposit for brick earth and fireclay to provide raw materials to the brick industry.
Our engineers are advising on ground conditions and historical mining on a number of projects for housing, renewable energy and infrastructure.
The schemes we have been involved in relating to housing projects over the past 3 years are nearing completion which is satisfying and these projects will be transferred to our internal auditing system for 6 years to inspect once a year.
Our engineers have recently completed audits for project the company were involved in 3 to 5 years ago and all the dwellings are now happy homes.
The housing projects were in the following locations:
Our team are dealing with with 5 sites at present that will be started this year to build a range of houses in Knottingley, Flockton, Morley and Eckington.
As a company, we fully support the drive towards zero carbon but we are aware that the UK still requires fossil fuels for industry, such as steel and cement making, heat and base load power generation.
There have been demonstrations at the small number of coal mines left in the UK about carbon emissions, but the transition will have to be over a period of time and at the present there is still a need for coal.
The UK needs metallurgical coal for industry and at present there is no other power source until the plants are modernised to make steel and cement. The steel made is of a high quality and they should be able to use metallurgical coal from the UK and import what they require over the production capacity of the mines in the UK to ensure that we maintain an industrial base. For construction projects cement is required in nearly all aspects of building and the UK needs to maintain capacity to support the demand for housing and commercial development.
Burning ban on coal and wet wood
In relation to heating homes, the recent announcement on banning coal and wet wood is an example of a hammer to crack a nut. No one should be trying to burn wet wood, but coal and dry wood being burnt in remote and rural areas should have minimal impact on air quality.
The emissions from burning wood and coal in urban areas can be controlled and stopped by enforcing the Clean Air Act in such areas by postcode. If people live in an area with a smoke control order then they should not be able to order coal or wet wood.
A national database is probably already available for each Council in the country for smoke control orders so if the purchaser is from a postcode in that database, they can be prohibited from ordering coal or wet wood.
Much of the England is rural and some areas have no gas supply, so rely on wood and coal for heating, cooking and hot water. In particular the remote areas in the north of England and the south west rely heavily on open fires and stoves for many comforts.
The transition to renewable power generation can be relatively quick with phasing out of coal fired generation likely to be before the Government imposed dates of 2024. The UK Government should have supported the research for clean coal technology in which most of, if not all, the carbon dioxide could be sequestrated and stored.
Our engineers have been looking at the onshore renewable schemes that were shelved in 2016 as there are rumours that the Government are considering allowing on shore wind farms and solar schemes in England, if the local people in the area do not object to it This would allow the transition to renewable energy to progress and more local schemes to come through.