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Exploring historical coal mining and future development

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World Coal,

Britain’s coal mining legacy and its implications for brownfield development was the theme of a talk from the Coal Authority’s Commercial Report and Advisory Services team.

The subject was explored by Helen Bennett, the team’s technical leader, when she spoke at the Brownfield Redevelopment: Midlands 2019 conference at the Grand Station in Wolverhampton on Wednesday 3 July 2019.

The one-day event brought together local authorities, developers, policy-makers, landowners, remediation companies and other stakeholders to explore solutions to key challenges, such as brownfield land availability, managing contamination risks and accelerating the development process.

Bennett said: “The rich industrial history of the Black Country and the West Midlands coalfield poses a number of challenges for the brownfield developer, with geological conditions that are unique to this region with respect to coal mining legacy risk.

“Due consideration is required at the earliest available opportunity to establish the risks that could be posed by historical coal mining to a future development.

“An appropriate scheme of desk-study, investigation and monitoring may be required to understand those features which could require remediation or long-term management.”

Bennett studied Applied and Environmental Geology at the University of Leicester, researching and working in the fields of mineral exploration, environmental monitoring and the socio-economic challenges of resource extraction.

She joined the Coal Authority in 2014, managing permit applications for works, and now provides support and advice on mining legacy risks across a range of development and infrastructure projects.

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