In 1999 Bath & North East Somerset Council submitted an outline application to English Partnerships under the Land Stabilisation Programme. The outline application was accepted in August 1999 and a detailed bid for Phase One investigations (Investigatory and Feasibility Studies) was approved in February 2000.
The Council appointed Parsons Brinckerhoff to identify and develop a preferred option to stabilise the land over the mines area to a level sufficient to obtain planning consent (including an Environmental Assessment).
At the same time the Council, as mine owner with responsibility for health and safety, made an emergency appointment of Hydrock to provide the role of the new Mine Manager.
After the visit by Her Majesty's Inspector of Mines (HMIM) in December 2000 a notice was served prohibiting entry to the mines due to the hazardous nature of the underground environment, and requiring a detailed Schedule of Works to be put into place. This required the construction of systematic underground supports to enable surveys to be undertaken safely to develop the scheme: this was known as enabling works. Underground surveys were therefore restricted and as a result a Geographic Information System (GIS) was developed as a basis for a desk based analysis.