Campaigners donate excess funds to help charities

Campaigners who won their fight to protect part of the coastline from an opencase mine have been spreading joy in the community.

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 9:00 am
Claire from British Divers Marine Life Rescue with Duncan Lawrence and Lynne Tate from Save Druridge.
Claire from British Divers Marine Life Rescue with Duncan Lawrence and Lynne Tate from Save Druridge.

Following a seven-year fight, Save Druridge won their case last year against Banks Mining’s plans to create an opencast mine sat at Druridge Bay.

Last September, the Secretary of State Robert Jenrick rejected Banks Mining’s application for a second time to opencast three million tonnes of coal at the site.

During the battle, campaigners had to raise thousands of pounds in order to employ experts for independent reports as well as a solicitor and barrister to represent them at the Public Inquiry and then at the High Court Appeal in London.

Margaret and Richard Kelley, from Amble Lifeboat Station, with Lynne Tate and Duncan Lawrence, from Save Druridge.

And now, members of Save Druridge have handed out left over money to four charities.

Lynne Tate, of Save Druridge, said: “We cannot thank our supporters enough, the majority who live in the local area and helped us raise funds through events, an auction and crowdfunders.

“We did have a small amount of funds left over after paying all our bills and agreed to hand over cheques in the sum of £125 each to four fantastic charities/organisations.”

The four to benefit at British Divers Marine Life Rescue for the work rescuing wildlife off the Northumberland coast; Amble Lifeboat Station; Blyth Wildlife Rescue for their work helping injured and abandoned wildlife in the north east; and South Lakes Action on Climate Change, who are fighting a deep mine proposal in Cumbria.

Yasmin and Coral, from Blyth Wildlife Rescue with youngest supporter Ellis aged two, receiving the cheque from Duncan Lawrence and Lynne Tate from Save Druridge.

Northumberland County Council had approved Banks Mining’s plan in July 2016, before being recommended for approval by a Government-appointed planning inspector when that decision was called in.

However, the then Communities Secretary Sajid Javid opted to turn it down in March 2018, before the decision was quashed following a High Court challenge by Banks, with the reasoning behind Mr Javid’s decision described as ‘significantly inadequate’.

Last September, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick concluded that ‘the substantial extent of the landscape harm means that the proposal is still not environmentally acceptable, nor can it be made so by planning conditions or obligations’.

And last October, Banks Mining – whose case for the Highthorn scheme said it would create at least 100 well-paid, full-time jobs on the site and invest £87million into the Northumberland economy – decided against challenging the Government’s decision.