Date set for decision on Northumberland surface mine

The date for a final decision on the proposed Highthorn opencast mine has been announced.

Thursday, 18th January 2018, 11:29 am
Updated Thursday, 18th January 2018, 11:30 am
Map of the proposed site boundary for Highthorn.

A 14-day public inquiry took place last June and the Planning Inspector then submitted his report to the Secretary of State on November 29 last year.

Now, it has been confirmed that a decision will be issued ‘on or before’ Monday, March 5.

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The proposals are for the extraction of three million tonnes of coal and a total of 20,000 tonnes of fireclay and sandstone over a five-year period with total operations lasting seven years, taking account of the time to set up the site and complete restoration.

Banks Mining and its supporters point to jobs and economic benefits for the wider area as well as the restoration plans for the site following the extraction.

However, objectors said that the mine would destroy a stunning part of Northumberland. Concerns also include the impact on climate change, potential damage to tourism, the impact on wildlife and ecology, road issues and the negative effects on residential amenity, including noise, dust and air pollution.