The Coal Authority operates a 24-hour call out service for public safety related incidents, including:
- Collapses of shallow mine workings and mine entries.
- Fissures arising from deeper mine workings.
- Gas and water emissions from mine workings.
- Spontaneous combustion of coal.
- Unsealed abandoned mine entries permitting access into old mines.
Our emergency call out service deals with these incidents on a 24-hour basis, every day of the year. Upon receiving a report of a coal mining hazard, we will arrange for the situation to be made safe, without consideration of responsibility.
Do I need to call the 24-hour emergency number?
A coal mining hazard is an event which occurs suddenly and often without warning where damage from coal mining leaves an obvious danger and a risk of injury. This type of incident will require the Authority's emergency response team to take action as soon as they can. This usually involves fencing off and securing the area and in some cases where the damage affects homes and buildings, it may require the evacuation of people from their homes or the affected buildings.
Call the emergency number 01623 646 333 if:
- You find a ground collapse on your property or within a public accessible area.
- You find an open shaft or adit mine entry.
- You believe you are experiencing the effects of a mine gas emission.
- You believe you are experiencing the effects of a mine water emission.
- You see an area of burning that you believe is associated with a coal seam or coal mine workings.
Do I need to fill in a Subsidence Damage Claim Notice?
Damage occurring from coal mining which takes place over a prolonged time period is referred to as subsidence. This usually involves damage occurring over a number of weeks and months or sometimes longer. Because the damage slowly develops, it does not present an immediate risk of injury to anyone and does not warrant the Authority's emergency team to respond immediately.
Submit a Subsidence Damage Notice to us if:
- There is damage to a surface structure such as a house, factory, school, garage, barn etc such as cracking plaster / cracking brickwork or sticking doors.
- There is damage to a property boundary such as a wall, fence etc.
- There are large areas of land that have settled over time such as undulations across farmland, moorland, parks, playing fields etc where there is no single point of collapse that poses an immediate danger to the public.
Why are there 2 different ways of contacting you?
We use the same personnel to progress each type of incident and the service we provide will not differ between the 2 different routes.
Notification using a Damage Claim Notice is a claim under the Coal Mining Subsidence Act 1991.
- It is limited to owners or tenants of the property.
- A claim must be made within 6 years of the damage becoming apparent or when it was reasonable for you to have known that the damage had occurred.
- This is the only way to submit a claim for damage to buildings such as cracking plaster / cracking brickwork or sticking doors.
- A claim must be made on a Damage Claim Notice form.
- Your rights and the way we work are laid down in the legislation.
- Rules on compensation are laid down in the legislation.
- If you use a representative to act on your behalf in making the claim you may be able to recover some or all of their charges if your claim is successful.
- A guide to claimant’s rights is available to download
Notification using the emergency number 01623 646 333
- Anyone can call us to report a coal mining hazard.
- You do not need to be the owner of the land and you do not need to fill in a Damage Claim Notice.
- We may carry out works that would not be covered under the Coal Mining Subsidence Act 1991, such as investigating mine gas emissions, treating the spontaneous combustion of coal, sealing open mine entries etc.
- We not only assess the damage as we would under a Subsidence Damage claim, but we also work under our obligations as a mine owner as laid out within the Mines and Quarries Act 1954 or any obligations we may have as a land owner (even though our land is actually underground) causing damage to their neighbours property.
- The age of the damage is not limited to the 6 year rule. Therefore, if you are a new homeowner that is concerned about an old feature such as ground settlement over a mine entry or a fenced but open mine entry that did not worry the previous property owner, you may still report it to us.
- As soon as we receive your call we will mobilise a representative to the site in order to secure the incident area.
- Damage to buildings such as cracking plaster / cracking brickwork or sticking doors can only be claimed for by submission of a Damage Claim Notice. If you call the emergency number to report such damage we can send you a claim form.
If you are at all unsure which route to contact us through, use the emergency number 01623 646 333.