Almost all of the Falkirk Council area has a history of coal mining. The Coal Authority has used its records to divide the coalfield into two kinds of area; high risk and low risk. We have to consult the Coal Authority on planning applications for some kinds of building work inside the high risk areas.

If we need to consult the Coal Authority because your application is in a high risk area, you will need to submit a Coal Mining Risk Assessment which will show us how you will make sure that your proposed development will be safe and stable. We then ask the Coal Authority to review the Assessment and provide bespoke advice.

These types of application do not need a Coal Mining Risk Assessment (CMRA):

Type of application CMRA required?
(Yes / No)
Reserved Matters / Reserved Details Approval of Matters Specified in Conditions No Assumes the issue has been dealt with as a matter of principle (outline stage) – if not a CMRA will be required
Householder Development No No spatial influence over development location
Change of Use No Assumes it is a pure change of use with no other built development proposed
Variation or Removal of Condition No Unless the condition relates to land stability
Heritage Consents (Listed Building or Conservation Areas) No No ground works
Advertisement Consent No No significant ground works
Lawful Development Certificates No No ground works
Prior Notification (any type) No  
Hazardous Substances Consent No Limited scope of influence
Tree or Hedgerow Works (TPO or in Conservation Area) No

These kinds of development do not need a Coal Mining Risk Assessment (CMRA):

Nature of development Typical recent examples CMRA required? (Yes / No) Justification
Change of use (land or buildings) – where no other built development is proposed Agriculture to garden; office to residential No No significant ground works
Temporary structures with no ground works Portacabins; sheds; storage units; storage bins; decking; smoking shelters No No significant ground works
Means of enclosure Fences, walls No No significant ground works
Street type furniture Signage; public art, lighting/CCTV columns, cycle racks, benches No No significant ground works
Alterations to existing non-residential buildings that create no new floor space new shop frontages, new windows or door openings, signage No No significant ground works
Non-commercial private/domestic stables No   No significant ground works, no public uses

You will need to get a suitably qualified person to prepare a Coal Mining Risk Assessment Report. He/she should have:

  • a recognised relevant qualification
  • experience in dealing with ground stability and mining legacy related issues
  • membership with a relevant professional organisation

For developers, the Coal Authority provides information on coal mining risk assessments on the GOV.UK website.

Falkirk Development Risk Map