Druridge Bay: Mining firm won't appeal opencast coal mine rejection

Time to walk away from fossil fuels and invest in building a zero carbon future
  Published:  29 Oct 2020    |      2 minute read

Friends of the Earth has welcomed confirmation from Banks Mining that it will not be seeking to challenge the government’s rejection of its controversial opencast coal mine application at Druridge Bay in Northumberland.

Robert Jenrick, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, rejected an application by Banks Mining for a new opencast mine at Druridge Bay on 8 September, saying the proposal was “not environmentally acceptable” and that there was little evidence of demand for the coal beyond the short term.

Friends of the Earth north east regional campaigner Simon Bowens said:

“We’re delighted Banks Mining is not going to appeal against the government’s decision to refuse planning permission for a climate-wrecking coal mine at Druridge Bay. It’s the successful end to a long, hard-fought battle by local campaigners which Friends of the Earth has been proud to support.

“Despite what it says, the company should walk away from coal mining, including plans for an opencast coal mine at Dewley Hill, near Newcastle, and focus instead on the huge opportunities from the UK’s massive renewable energy potential.

“The North East is in prime position to benefit from this, particularly following the Prime Minister’s push for a huge increase in offshore wind in the next decade.

“The Secretary of State was right to intervene in this. We urge him to also ‘call in’ Cumbria County Council’s controversial decision to approve a new coal mine near Whitehaven.

“With the world in the midst of a climate crisis, we must rapidly build a cleaner, fairer, future by ending our damaging fossil fuel fixation and leaving coal, gas and oil in the ground.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

1. Banks Mining rules out challenge to Highthorn planning application rejection [28/10/2020].

2. Friends of the Earth reaction to Mr Jenrick’s decision in September to reject an application for an opencast coal mine at Druridge Bay in Northumberland:

3. Friends of the Earth participated in the public inquiry for Banks’ Highthorn application in 2017 as a Rule 6 Party, represented by Paul Brown QC and Toby Fisher of Landmark Chambers. It participated in the court case HJ Banks Co Ltd v Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government [2018] EWHC 3141 (Admin) as an interested party, represented by Paul Brown QC and Matthew Fraser of Landmark Chambers.

4. Friends of the Earth reaction [2 October] to Cumbria County Council’s decision to give the go-head to the new mine – including more details on why Friends of the Earth doesn’t believe the mine should be allowed.