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Listed status for part of former Hatfield colliery

Hatfield's iconic structure Credit: PA

Campaigners have won their fight to preserve the iconic winding gears at Hatfield Colliery with today's news that Historic England has given Grade Two listing to both towers.

The decision came out of the blue-and just 24 hours before Doncaster Council had intended to demolish one of the towers.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport agreed to the move on advice from Historic England.

The iconic, towering structures have come to symbolise coal mining communities and coal production and several have been preserved in other parts of the country.

But the heritage group did not recommend the power and winding engine houses for listing, saying they do not have enough architectural or historic significance to merit listing in a national context.

Headstocks like those at Hatfield with their distinctive silhouettes are the most recognisable feature of the nationally important coal industry. Once a very common feature in mining areas, these structures are now rare nationally, making this example a special survival and the last remaining in the once important Doncaster coalfield. These structures are also interesting technologically as although built at the same time, they are of contrasting designs and made of lattice steel and reinforced concrete which replaced timber at the end of the 19th Century because they were much stronger materials. Our local team in Yorkshire is in discussion with the Council over proposed works to the site.

– Historic England

Money set aside to tackle Great Heck rubbish tip

The Environment Agency has set aside money to pay for cleaning up a mound of rotting rubbish at a tip in North Yorkshire at risk of causing serious pollution.

Credit: ITV News

People living near the site in Great Heck near Selby said they were being made physically sick by the smell of the 10,000 tonnes of rubbish. The Environment Agency made arrests last month as part of their investigation into the tip. Selby Council will also help to pay for the site to be cleared.

Billion pound Humber flood defence plans rejected

A £1.28 billion flood defence scheme for East Yorkshire has been turned down by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

Hull was hit by heavy flooding in 2007 Credit: Press Association

Downing Street said the bid, submitted by East Riding Council on behalf of the local authorities and the Association of British Ports, did not present a strong enough case for some areas it wanted to cover.

DEFRA also said it remains committed to flood defence in the region, spending £75 million since 2001, with a further £86 million committed for the next six years.


Drax withdraw from carbon capture project

Drax Power Station have announced that they will be withdrawing as a partner and halting investment in a carbon capture project.

Drax Power station is withdrawing funding for a carbon capture project Credit: Press Association

The two year project is being taken forward by the Capture Power partnership – made up of Drax, Alstom and BOC and is looking at the potential to capture up to 90% of carbon emissions from a new coal fired power station and safely store them beneath the North Sea. The project is due to conclude during the next 6-12 months.

Drax has also confirmed that while at that point it would cease to commit further investment, it will continue to make the site owned by Drax, along with the infrastructure at the Power Plant, available for the project to be built.

We remain fully committed to completing what we’ve signed up to – the completion of a study into the feasibility and development of world leading technology that could result in dramatic reductions in carbon emissions produced by power stations and heavy industry.

We are confident the technology we have developed has real potential, but have reluctantly taken a decision not to invest any further in the development of this project. The decision is based purely on a drastically different financial and regulatory environment and we must put the interests of the business and our shareholders first.

We will focus our resources on the areas which we can deliver best value, particularly working with Government to explore the potential for converting a fourth generating unit to run on sustainable biomass.

Drax still believes this project has great potential and we have announced that the site at the Drax Power Plant, along with our existing infrastructure remain available for the project to be built.

– Pete Emery, Drax
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