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Coal Mining Risk Assessments

Coal Mining Risk Assessments

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The Coal Authority website has been incorporated into GOV.UK. The direct links to the High risk and Low risk pdf documents in this page no longer work. We will update the links to the new pages as soon as we can.

As a statutory consultee for development proposals within coal mining area, the Coal Authority has introduced a risk based approach to dealing with applications for development. This is part of their strategic objective to effectively manage the legacy of coal mining activities. This may have an impact on the determination of planning applications within coal mining areas.

The Coal Authority has divided the coalfield into two spatial areas; "High Risk" and "Low Risk". We will check if your development site lies within any of the risk areas as part of the application process and advise you accordingly. If you want to check yourself to see if your site lies within the High or Low Risk area of the coalfield, or is located off the coalfield you can use this interactive map viewer on the Coal Authority's website.

High Risk Areas (Referral Areas)

The High Risk areas may contain coal mining legacy issues such as mine entries or shallow coal workings. Consequently, for certain types of application, the Coal Authority would require an assessment to take place of the potential risks to the proposed development and how these risks would be satisfactorily mitigated or managed, in the interests of public safety. This would be through the preparation and submission of a Coal Mining Risk Assessment Report prepared by a suitably qualified "competent" person. Certain types of application are exempt from the requirement for a Report such as householder applications.

The Report should be submitted with the application and the Coal Authority would be consulted and provide comments on the Report. These consultation comments would be a material consideration in the determination of the application. If the Coal Authority object or request further information then this may delay the application process or at worst, provide grounds to withhold permission until a satisfactory assessment of the potential risk from legacy coal mining has been carried out. Therefore before submitting an application, developers or agents are advised to check with the Service or the website to see whether a Risk Assessment Report will be required to accompany the application.

Information about the process, the exemptions list and how to prepare a Risk Assessment Report can be found on the Coal Authority`s website within the document titled "Resources for Developers: Risk Based Approach to Development Management".

Low Risk Areas

Within Low Risk areas, there is no need for a Coal Mining Risk Assessment and the Coal Authority would not be consulted on the application. An informative note providing standing advice prepared by the Coal Authority will normally be included within the Decision Notice. A copy of the current advice can be viewed on the Coal Authority`s website.

Off the Coalfield

If the site is off the coal field then no action or consultation will be required.

If you have any queries on the issue then please contact Keith Johnstone, Principal Planner in the Development Quality Team (Tel: 01259 452 614 or email:

For Further Information Contact

Development Quality
Kilncraigs, Greenside Street, Alloa, FK10 1EB
Tel: 01259 450000