In consultation with Local Authorities and communities, and having regard to Council policies, the land can be restored
to a variety of new uses, often with major employment or visitor attraction potential.
Such projects can often provide long term economic advantages for the area after the temporary mining activities have ceased. These can range from land with improved visual appearance through to the creation of new communities or employment spaces.
Some examples are:
- A Geopark of national significance, near Muirkirk, East Ayrshire, where an unprecedented display of geological strata has been created for academic and tourism benefits.
- A new community at Blindwells, East Lothian of up to 3000 new homes is in the process of being created on a former site where the Local Authority identified a Regional need via its Structure Plan.
- A new business park at Poniel, South Lanarkshire has been created in a rural community with a blue chip anchor occupier who is creating a new bonded warehouse facility. Long term jobs in a rural community have already been created and with further phases to follow.
- The Scottish World Project by Charles Jencks at St Ninians, near Dunfermline, where the mining site is being restored into a major 'LandArt' feature to act as a focus for future leisure and commercial development.
- A range of renewable energy projects which include windpower, geothermal energy from within the strata where we operate and the production and combustion of biomass. The Westfield (Fife) biomass power plant being one example.
Other sites deliver long-term environmental benefits. For example, one site was approved within and adjoining a Special Protection Area (SPA), which is effectively a site with the highest degree of environmental protection under European law - in this case for endangered species, including the Hen Harrier.
The regulatory agencies only allowed the site to go ahead on the basis of highly detailed advance survey and compensatory (mitigation) works having been undertaken and with similarly detailed legal agreements to control operations and long term delivery of the planned works.
As a result, not only will the environmental value of the site be protected during mining operations but, more importantly, a range of improvements are being made over a far wider area. These will be of lasting benefit to that area and to the intrinsic environmental value of Scotland. It is also a very good example of all the stakeholders and agencies working together to deliver the widest possible benefit.