Bank’s Mining want to extract 3 million tonnes of coal from Highthorn, near to tourist beach Druridge Bay. In 2016 Northumberland County Council granted them planning permission. Then the excellent local community campaign, Save Druridge managed to get the government to Call In the application, meaning that the Secretary of State would ultimately decide if the mine goes ahead.
Local people, Friends of the Earth and Coal Action Network are all preparing to speak at the public inquiry to decide the fate of the area.
On the day that the inquiry begins there will be a rally organised by Save Druridge and Friends of the Earth. It starts on the 31st May and will be held Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club, Kingston Park, Brunton Road, NE13 8AF. The rally will be held at lunch time, with transport from Newcastle City Centre and near the proposed mine. Transport details below. The exact location of the rally will be announced soon. Keep an eye on the facebook event or this page for updates.
The inquiry will last 13 days, members of the public as well as speakers from CAN, Save Druridge and FoE will speak to explain why this application needs to be refused. It is being re-examined to fully consider the impacts of climate change and the UK’s coal phase out.
If this application is refused it will significantly reduce the chances of other applications being approved. There are currently three other applications for new opencast mines in the planning system. The others are at Hilltop, Clay Cross, Derbyshire, which is also being decided by the planning inspectorate; Nant Llesg in Caerphilly south Wales which is at appeal and Dewley Hill on the Newcastle boundary, another Banks Mining application.
Transport details to the rally:
Newcastle City Centre, departing from the layby on Claremont Rd in front of the Great North Museum at 8.15am & 12.15pm
Alnwick/ Cresswell/ Morpeth – please register here if you would like to catch this coach (in the description you can also fill in a survey to let us know what time you would like the coach to set off on the return journey – we will pick the most popular option): https://www.eventbrite.com/e/coach-from-alnwick-to-newcastle-via-morpeth-cresswell-for-save-druridge-tickets-33585343667