TALKS are underway to kick-start the restoration of the former Bentinck Colliery site near Selston.
Owners of land at the former colliery spoil tip have started working with Nottinghamshire County Council and Natural England to explore ways of sympathetically restoring the site.
In March last year, campaigners fighting plans to build a landfill at the site celebrated a victory after the county council turned down an application from Waste Recycling Group.
The site was given SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) status in June because of its grassland habitats and outstanding range of native amphibians – including a breeding population of great crested newts.
Now Nottinghamshire County Council has withdrawn four enforcement notices which were served on the landowners Broomco and Viridor – and the move means that all the restoration options can now be explored.
Selston councillor Gail Turner has played a key role in getting all of the parties to talk about the future of the site.
She said: “We have got SSSI but these enforcement conditions have got in the way – they did not work with the fact that the land is a SSSI.
“It is a good move because it gives everybody a clean sheet so we can look at properly restoring and turning it into some kind of amenity for the people.
“The discussions have started in earnest although they are more about the tip than the void area. We need to try and make a proper restoration here and make it an asset in the area.”
County councillor Richard Butler, cabinet member for environment and sustainability, said: “We are pleased that discussions between ourselves and the landowners are now underway to agree a suitable restoration scheme for the site following the necessary consultation.”