Coal Mining Risk Assessment

Coal Mining Risk Assessment and Coal mine shaft stabilisation, Swansea

The historical legacy of coal mining in the UK affects many development proposals within Development High Risk Areas that need planning permission; these often require a Coal Mining Risk Assessment to be prepared and submitted with an application to the Local Planning Authority.

The Development High Risk Areas cover approximately 15% of the defined UK coalfields. The historical legacy of coal mining in the UK and the impact it can have on development proposals is relatively well understood.  However, the quality of the assessments can vary. The potential impact from other forms of mining is less well appreciated.



The Coal Authority is a statutory consultee on planning applications for developments within the defined coal mining areas. This is due to their specific responsibilities to manage the coal mining legacy. The Coal Authority has provided all 179 coalfield Local Planning Authorities in England, Scotland and Wales specific areas of concern.

Specific Development High Risk Areas across the UK including Wales, England and Scotland – areas where the potential land instability and other safety risks associated with former coal mining activities are likely to be greatest. They include areas of known or suspected shallow coal mining, recorded mine entries and areas of former surface mining.

It should be appreciated that there was no statutory requirement to maintain colliery records until the 1870’s so, particularly in the older coalfields such as West Wales, records are poor.  Development High Risk Areas cover approximately 15% of the defined UK coalfields.


What Is a Coal Mining Risk Assessment?


A coal mining risk assessment is a technical report that identifies any coal mining risks that could impact a development project. At ESP we have been undertaking mining risk assessment for over 30 years. These vary from simple preliminary hazard appraisal in the form of our ESP my search report through to desk study based phase 1 mining risk assessments and further intrusive investigations and subsequent treatment to mitigate subsidise risk.


About ESP Coal Mining Risk Assessment Services


We can help you overcome planning objections based on coal mining risk and satisfy the requirements for Coal Mining Risk Assessment. Our qualified staff are experienced at providing Coal Mining Risk Assessments within the coalfields of England, Wales and Scotland for various residential, commercial and industrial sites, for example this site in Cross Hands, Carmarthenshire and this site near Swansea. Please get in touch to discuss how we can help overcome specific challenges. A Preliminary Hazard Appraisal can be obtained using the ESP MySite report here: ESP MySite Report

Our Coal Mining Risk Assessments comprise a desk review (geological and historical data, Coal Authority records, and local/regional records), site walkover and reporting.


Examples of Our Coal Mining Risk Assessments 



We have an excellent track record in discharging planning conditions and this is often achieved without the need for intrusive investigation. In particular, we have a strong understanding of errors inherent within Coal Authority records, which we have been able to demonstrate no risk, where the records suggest one exists. Our assessments are undertaken in general accordance with BS5930:1999 Code of practice for site investigations, BS EN 1997-1:2004 & BS EN 1997-2:2007 Eurocode 7: Geotechnical Design and CIRIA SP32.

Should coal mine workings be suspected or proved, exploration and/or treatment for small and large developments need not be onerous. We have successfully and efficiently helped many schemes through to development. We are very experienced in the assessment of sites across the UK from individual houses to regional scale developments.

Do you need more information or maybe you have questions? Contact us today and let us see how we can help you.

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