Why does England have weaker rules on opencast mining than Wales and Scotland? In response to public complaints, the governments of Wales and Scotland both changed their planning policies. They now have buffer zones for opencast coal mines. What this means is that coal can’t be quarried within 500 metres of people’s home. But in England, it can.
See http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2011/01/13/in-a-hole-still-digging/.