Byronism Undermined

Angela Morgan highlights the new threat to Newstead Abbey, Byron's former home.

Controversial plans have been announced to mine over a million tons of coal from under Newstead Abbey, a Grade One listed building which was once the home of Lord Byron and now attracts more than 35,000 visitors annually. The extraction of the coal will cause the building eventually to subside by at least twelve inches.

The situation highlights the conflict between ownership of a property and ownership of the minerals which lie beneath it. Under the law, the owner of the property does not necessarily own the mineral rights. In this case, Midland Mining own the mineral rights and no planning permission is required to undertake the work.

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