Excellent news today (8th September 2016). Local campaigners heard that the government is going to decide the planning application to mine coal at Highthorn. Local people have been fighting against a 3 million tonne opencast coal mine near the Northumberland coastline for several years.
Despite a strong campaign against the coal mine Northumberland County Council approved the mine on the 5th July 2016.
If the mine were to start it would have a damaging effect on tourism at nearby Druridge Bay; dramatically increase numbers of HGVs on local roads, adversely affect local people’s health, destroy the fragile ecosystem and completely ignore the disastrous effects on climate change which burning coal causes.
Banks already operate two massive mines in the region and had hoped to start extraction at Highthorn in 2018.
Local people lobbied government to ‘Call In’ this decision as they feel that it is out of line with current planning and environmental policies.
The notification that the application will be reviewed by government says that the Secretary of State will consider:
- “the extent to which the proposed development is consistent with Government policies for meeting the challenge of climate change”
- “the extent to which the proposed development is consistent with Government policies for conserving and enhancing the natural environment”
- “the extent to which the proposed development is consistent with Government policies relating to the sustainable extraction of minerals”
- “the extent to which the proposed development is consistent with the written Ministerial Statement on the Central Government’s committee to replace coal fired power stations, with gas as made by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change on 18 November 2015;”
The inquiry could mean that the application is rejected.
Well done to Save Druridge and all those people who have fought this application and enabled the decision to be Called In.
We will keep you updated on developments.