We looked at several potential locations to build the scheme within about 2km of the Woodend Low Level. The key factors we consider when looking for land for a mine water treatment scheme include: 

  • A large enough area to build the scheme 
  • Distance from the Woodend Low Level (mine entrance) 
  • Distance from residential properties and businesses 
  • Is it downhill of the Woodend Low Level (mine entrance)? 
  • How will we return the treated water to Gategill Beck? 
  • Access to the site for construction vehicles and during operations. 
  • Is the land suitable for construction: steepness of slopes, flood risk, ground conditions etc.  
  • Is the site protected as a site of special scientific interest or scheduled monument (archaeology)? 
  • Are the landowners interested in leasing or selling their land? 

We investigated potential sites in several phases, summarised on the map below:


2012: Atkins:  

  • Three sites considered (Field 1, 5 and 6)): all rejected after further engineering investigations and discussions with landowners. 

2017: Coal Authority map-based review 

  • Considered land within a 2.5km distance from the Woodend Low Level with criteria including: 
  • Slope steepness and elevation 
  • Risk of surface water flooding 
  • Conservation designations (ecology, archaeology) 
  • Further potential sites identified for further technical investigations and discussion with landowners. 

2017+: CDM Smith Technical Review 

  • Land adjacent to sewage works (Field 3 on map) rejected due to distance and complexity of installing pipeline from the Woodend Low Level.  

2018 to 2024:  

  • Discussions with landowners at the preferred location (Field 2 on map).  
  • Initial surveys of ecology and ground conditions suitable. 
  • Option to lease the land signed with landowners (2024). 
  • Further surveys of ground conditions to be carried out (2024 onwards).