Updated: Highthorn Planning Inquiry begins 31st May
May 12, 2017
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Next Wednesday (31st May) is the first day of a public inquiry which will decide whether 3 million tonnes of coal will be mined from near Druridge Bay in Northumberland.

On the day that the inquiry begins there will be a rallies organised by Save Druridge and Friends of the Earth. The inquiry is being held at Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club, Kingston Park, Brunton Road, NE13 8AF.

For the Morning vigil: Meet at Cranleigh Avenue off Brunton Road, opposite the Rugby Club entrance – 8.30am til 10am.

Lunchtime Rally: Meet at Windsor Way off Brunton Road, opposite the Rugby Club exit – we’ll be gathering on the grassy area on the other side of the road from the Rugby Club – 1pm til 2pm.

Stewards will be present at both events to show you the way!

Coaches: Newcastle City Centre, departing from the layby on Claremont Rd in front of the Great North Museum at 7.45am & 12.15pm we will meet at Cranleigh Avenue off Brunton Road, opposite the Rugby Club entrance – 8.30am til 10am.

There is a facebook event  for updates.

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.

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.