More delays to Hoodsclose application
June 16, 2013

Update –

Late June 2013 Decision delayed again: The Hoodsclose application now will not be decided in July. The delay this time is all down to UK Coal who have apparently indicated to Northumberland County Council that they have more data to submit. Just 1 week before the target determination date this information still has not been received. Rather than guess what this means for timings we will wait until we have a confirmed date to announce. From

It would seem that this delay is linked UK Coal being placed into administration.

One of the mature trees UK Coal wish to translocated or relocated
One of the mature trees UK Coal wish to trans-locate or relocate

After many delays Northumberland Council will decide whether mining at Whittonstall will be allowed on the 2nd July. Whittonstall Action Group are asking that concerned people write a letter of objection to this application. If you do not live in the area your comments are still valid as tourism is very important to the local economy. For more details about what to include please see

All letters should have the reference 10/00255/CCMEIA

Email: When submitting comments via email please quote the planning application reference number and provide your address details in order for us to register them against the application.

Post: Development Management, Northumberland County Council, Planning Department, County Hall, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 2EF

UK Coal wish to opencast 2.05 million tonnes of coal and 1/2 a million tonnes of fireclay from the site. It is also expected that the company will apply for a further 3 sites in the immediate vicinity. The land for the first application, which the industry call Hoodsclose, has been sold to a property developer as part of UK Coal’s desperate bid to stay in business. (Click here for more info) It therefore seems very unlikely that it will ever be ‘restored’ to the farm land, old roads and public paths which it is now.

The local action group has an amazing  website with all of the plans for the applications and all of the reasons it is a bad idea. These include:

  • Noise and dust during the construction and working phases of the project
  • Site boundary very close to the village boundary
  • Loss of visual amenity
  • Loss of tranquillity
  • Loss of enjoyment of surrounding countryside
  • Adverse impact on County First School students

UK Coal are still in hot water financially since the Financial Times reported that they were going into voluntary liquidation. Although this has since been denied, they are clearly struggling with contractors at their Potland Burn site (also Northumberland) refusing the company credit. After a fire at their Daw Mill Colliery they are looking for the government to re-nationalise this aspect of their business and workers pensions are looking to be in a dangerous position.