A RESTORATION project has been successfully completed at an opencast coal mine site near Patna.

The finishing touches were being applied at Dunstonhill almost five years to the day since the liquidation of Scottish Coal Company Ltd (SCCL) in 2013.

It was also the culmination of many meetings and site visits which enables a community liaison group to monitor and review progress at the site.

Following the liquidation of SCCL in 2013, coaling and water pumping operations ceased and the coal extraction at the site was abandoned.

This rendered the 200-acre site dangerous as the quarry voids filled with water, resulting in significant and potential hazards to neighbouring communities and the local environment.

In 2015 East Ayrshire Council contracted Hargreaves Surface Mining Ltd to carry out remedial works to secure the site, in conjunction with Scottish Mines Restoration Trust (SMRT).

With the work complete, the site has now been removed from the Mines and Quarry Regulations and the land returned to its three owners.

At the time of the liquidation, ownership of ground owned by Scottish Coal was transferred to the Mines Restoration Limited, a subsidiary of SMRT, but in April this year, the land was sold on to a local farmer.

Earlier this month, East Ayrshire’s planning committee heard how the council’s steps to recovery strategy has resulted in the successful conclusion of an extensive restoration programme to repair and re-profile the land.