Highthorn mine was '˜difficult decision'

Northumberland County Council accepts that the Secretary of State had a '˜difficult decision' to make on the divisive Highthorn surface mine.

Saturday, 7th April 2018, 1:24 pm
Updated Saturday, 7th April 2018, 2:01 pm
Protestors against Highthorn opencast at Druridge Bay demonstrating at Morpeth County Hall. Picture by Jane Coltman

Sajid Javid refused planning permission for the opencast proposal near Druridge Bay last month against the recommendation of the planning inspector who chaired a 14-day public inquiry last year, sparking criticism from applicant Banks.

A map of the proposed Highthorn site.

This week, a county-council spokesman said: “It was always recognised that the application would be finely balanced as it had to consider a range of environmental and employment issues.

“We appreciate it must have been a difficult decision for the Secretary of State as Druridge Bay is an iconic stretch of coastline and a valuable tourism asset for our county.

News of the refusal also split opinion in the community.

Meanwhile, Banks Mining says it has yet to decide on whether to appeal the decision to refuse the Highthorn surface-mine scheme.

A map of the proposed Highthorn site.