Fees for monitoring surface coal mines: consultation analysis

Summary of responses and Scottish Government response to the consultation on monitoring fees for surface coal mining.

Consultation Analysis: Fees for Monitoring Surface Coal Mines

Profile of respondents

3. The Scottish Government received 12 responses to the consultation, 3 from individuals and 9 from organisations. In terms of those organisations that responded, these included planning authorities, an environmental Non-Government Organisation ( eNGO), a Non Departmental Public Body ( NDPB) and private industry.

Summary of responses

4. The table below briefly summarises the overall responses received.

Main point

Views expressed

Agree definitions associated with the surface coal mining industry to be used within the new Regulations and guidance

7 out of 10 who responded to these questions supported the definitions to be used in the new Regulations and the guidance to describe surface coal mining.

A few respondents expressed that they would also like to see these Regulations extended to the mineral industry too.

Fee of £500 for each monitoring visit to an active site and £250 for an inactive site

5 out of 9 agreed with the proposed monitoring fee levels.

However, a few of those who disagreed with the level, did so on the basis they would like to see the fee set higher to include specialised reports or that there shouldn't be a difference between the two types of site.

Allow planning authorities some level of flexibility when gauging the number of site visits required each year

6 out of 11 disagreed with flexibility but only on the basis that the frequency of visits should not differ between active and inactive sites.

Operator should be responsible for paying the monitoring fee

8 out of 10 supported the proposal that the operator should be responsible for the fee.

Monitoring reports being issued within 10 days of the date of the site visit

This was an even split with 5 out of 10 in favour of the 10 day report turnaround. The majority of planning authorities thought the timescale was too tight, as did not allow for mitigating factors, such as seeking additional information or awaiting reports.

Summary of main points by sector


5. One respondent wanted to see certain work exempt from the monitoring fee regulations, in order to avoid the potential for duplication between monies secured through Section 75 agreements. Another was concerned that it may be difficult to be able to establish what was an active or inactive site in certain circumstances.


6. Some would like to see Regulations extended to minerals and thought that active and inactive sites should be treated the same, both in terms of the chargeable fee and the frequency of visits.

Planning authorities

7. Planning authorities all made similar comments, which included extending the Regulations to include minerals extraction, treating active and inactive sites in the same way to minimise confusion and concerns about being able to achieve a 10 day turn around for reports, which did not appear to take account of mitigating factors.


8. Respondents raised concerns about being able to define what was an active or inactive site and felt that the level of fee recovery should be greater, to allow planning authorities to source professional support. There was a reference to the 10 day turn around for monitoring reports but only in so far as it may jeopardise the ability of the planning authority to recover the fee in what can be a complex undertaking.


Email: William Carlin

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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