Mine-plan objectors to stage protest walk

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A protest walk against controversial plans for a surface mine is being staged on Sunday.

And campaigners are urging those opposed to the proposals to take part in the trek, which will be led by a Northumbrian piper.

Banks Mining is behind the Highthorn project, earmarked for the south-east of Widdrington and near Druridge Bay.

The proposals have sparked huge opposition and a petition against the bid has been signed by more than 4,000 people.

Objectors are concerned about a number of issues, including noise, dust, light pollution and environmental damage.

Sunday’s walk forms part of the protests and will start at 11am from Cresswell bus stop and go to Druridge Farm.

It has been organised by Widdrington Station resident Lynne Tate, who says she is opposed to the plans on a number of grounds, including its impact on wildlife.

However, a Banks spokesman tried to allay fears.

He said: “We understand that the Highthorn proposal is in a unique and sensitive location. The protection and enhancement of Druridge Bay and the surrounding communities is at the heart of our proposals and we can reconfirm that any operations at Highthorn would take place several hundred yards away from the bay itself. The landscaping and restoration of our surface mines is just as central to their planning and operation as any other part of their development and provides a great opportunity to deliver environmental, ecological, habitat, tourism and recreational benefits.”