About CAAOC

An independently audited poll of local residents found that 95% per cent object to open cast mining on the Airfield site.

This website contains some of the views of the local communities who will be directly affected by the proposed mine, as well as those from further afield who come to visit the area to enjoy the unspoilt countryside.

Scottish Coal has submitted an application to extract, over six and a half years, two million tons of coal from the land around Airfield farm, just south of Edinburgh, adjacent to the villages of Cousland and Ormiston.

Communities Against Airfield Open Cast (CAAOC)

CAAOC are a group of local people concerned about the impact of this mine.

We are:

  • Community led
  • Voluntary
  • Independent
  • Not affiliated to any political party
  • No vested commercial interests
  • People Power, not dirty coal power.

Our Chairperson is local resident, Dougie McKenzie. Since the application was submitted in July 2009 Dougie and the group has been working hard to obtain the views of the wider local communities through public meetings, independent surveys, letters and emails and contacts with Scottish Coal, media and local and national politicians. As a result of this wide consultation with local residents, business owners and those who visit the area for recreations purposes (horse riders and cyclists etc), the group compiled a response to Scottish Coal’s application and submitted this to Midlothian Council in September 2009. A copy of this report can be found HERE.

The fact that Scottish Coal had three years and an army of highly paid experts to produce its Environmental Statement while CAAOC, made up of residents devoting their evenings and their own considerably more modest financial resources, had only a few weeks to respond, underlines the fundamental unfairness of the planning process.

We have been fortunate in that some specialists including economics expert David Crichton and a leading geologist from Edinburgh University’s School of Geosciences, Professor Godfrey Fitton have submitted their views on the application. We have secured the services of a planning consultant, to help us with our campaign, and this is the main cost currently incurred by CAAOC for which we are grateful for any donations (to donate click HERE).

Next Steps

Scottish Coal has now submitted their final report, attempting to answer the questions and issues raised by the various the consultees, including CAAOC’s report, as well as all the ‘official’ bodies such as Scottish Natural Heritage, National Health Service, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds etc.

CAAOC are now working on preparing its final response to the most recent Scottish Coal Report, and this must be submitted by 3rd September.

A public meeting will be held by Midlothian Council the week commencing 20th September (date and venue to be confirmed). Please email us if you would like further details and wish to attend.

If you haven’t objected yet, please follow our instructions – click HERE.

If you have already submitted an objection – please submit a further one objecting to Scottish Coal’s most recent submission. We’d suggest you might want to object based on your concerns for local loss of jobs and businesses and because of your fears over the ground instability which we believe have not been sufficiently addressed by Scottish Coal. Click HERE.

Make your objection now!

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