A MINE waste mound favoured by bird-watchers and dog-walkers could itself be mined for road-building stones.
Known locally as the Banana Tip or Banana Plantation, the crescent-shaped slopes in Parkgate are now covered in grass and trees.
But Rotherham firm Steelphalt think the slag pile could help solve a shortage in road-paving materials at their Templeborough plant.
This week the Rotherham Borough Council-owned site has seen trial pits and two bore holes dug.
Works are due to take just a few days, with the land reinstated pending test results.
Cllr Sarah Allen, Rotherham Council’s cabinet member for cleaner, greener communities, said: “I can see how important the site is to the community.
“I have visited the site with local councillors and spoken with nearby residents.
“The council is committed to providing green spaces such as this to enhance local environments and encourage people to get outdoors more often.
“Any works beyond initial explorations would be subject to full planning applications.”
At a consultation meeting held in April, the site’s neighbours expressed concern about habitat loss, noise and works access.
Steelphalt operations director Martin Gray told them then that the site could actually be improved by the company, which would only use parts of it.
He added: “We’re a part of this community and we wouldn’t do anything to jeopardise that.
“I do understand people’s concerns and I can only assure them that we’ll leave it in a better state than we find it.”
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