The Coal Authority was established under the Coal Industry Act 1994. All in situ coal, old mineworkings, current mineworkings and all shaft and adits vested in British Coal are owned by the Coal Authority. As a consequence formal permission is required from the Coal Authority if any of these assets are to be disturbed. Such ‘Permission to enter or disturb Coal Authority mining interests’ will therefore be required for all ground investigations which will intercept any coal seams in the ground.
The Coal Authority charge a fee for the permit based on the size of the site – i.e. £100 per 0.1hectare up to maximum of £2500 for large sites. If such a permit is not obtained then the company undertaking the work would be guilty of a trespass and liable to court action. In situations where a permit is applied for retrospectively the fees are doubled so there would be a potential cost of up to £5000. The requirement has been in place for some time but fees were recently increased significantly.
The application would normally be formally submitted by the client rather than the AGS but the AGS Member would be responsible for advising the client of the requirement for the permit.