Outline plans for mine are changed

Major plans for a new surface mine have been altered, after initial consultation.

In July, Banks Mining revealed the Highthorn project, for the east of Widdrington Station, inland from Druridge Bay.

The company said the scheme would sustain local jobs for more than a decade and provide an opportunity to add new and improved community and tourism resources to the area.

But as a result of initial feedback, Banks has excluded a number of fields to the north east of Widdrington village from any planning application that will be drawn up for the project.

The company also hopes to further reduce the areas of land around residential areas that may be required for the Highthorn surface mine.

Consultation will continue into next year and a planning application is not expected to be submitted until summer 2014, at the earliest.