Coal – guidance

Planning applications: coal mining risk assessments

Guidance on how to find out if a coal mining risk assessment is needed for a site, and how to get and submit one.

Coalfields are divided into high and low risk areas. A high risk area is where there are hazards that are likely to affect a new development.

If your site is in a high risk area, you need to send a coal mining risk assessment to your local council, along with your planning application. The majority of coalfield areas are low risk, the high risk areas are a significantly smaller percentage.

You do not need a coal mining risk assessment if your site is in a low risk area.

Check if your site is in a high risk area

To find out if your site is in a high risk area you can use the coalfield plans for your local council area that show high and low risk areas (shown by dark and light hatching) and identify specific hazards. The Coal Authority’s Interactive Map Viewer provides a high risk area option.

Both the coalfield local council area maps and interactive map viewer data are updated annually from the Coal Authority Mining Records.

The data used to identify the risk areas originates from the Coal Authority Mining Records. It is constantly updated from various sources, such as our mine entry inspections programme or permits and licenses. The data set is refreshed annually, the interactive map viewer and LPA maps contain the most recent information.

Get a coal mining risk assessment

The coal mining risk assessment must be prepared by a competent person, a definition and guidance is provided in Resources for Developers: Risk-Based Approach to Development Management (PDF, 1.71MB, 25 pages) .

Exemptions

Certain types of development do not need a coal mining risk assessment, even if they are in a high risk area.

Coal mining risk assessment exemption list

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