The initial discussions we’ve had with local people about these two schemes have been very positive, and we’re pleased to have reached this first landmark in the planning application process
The first of three planning applications to allow work to continue at two north east surface mines where 200 people are employed has been submitted to Northumberland County Council for planning approval.
Regional employer Banks Mining is looking to extend its existing operations at the Shotton surface mine in south east Northumberland and the Brenkley Lane surface mine in Newcastle, which have been operating since 2008 and 2010 respectively, and which currently contribute around £35m to the regional economy every year.
The Durham-based firm has finalised its plans for the first of two additional areas at the Shotton site, which is known as Shotton South West, and which is located at the south west corner of the existing mine.
Up to 250,000 tonnes of coal would be extracted from the Shotton South West area, which would be transported by road to the port of Blyth. If approved, the application would provide a further year of work for the 150 employees at the Shotton site, with coaling completed by October 2017 and full restoration carried out by October 2019.
Earlier this year, Banks held two public exhibitions to discuss its plans with local people, and has used the feedback received at these events to finalise the design of the Shotton South West proposal.
The Shotton and Brenkley Lane sites already contribute more than £400,000 in business rates every year, and if the additional areas are granted planning permission, it would enable Banks to continue its support for local facilities through its Banks Community Fund, which has already seen over £725,000 given to groups and good causes in Northumberland over the last nine years.
Mark Dowdall, Banks’ environment and community director, says: “The initial discussions we’ve had with local people about these two schemes have been very positive, and we’re pleased to have reached this first landmark in the planning application process.
“The Shotton and Brenkley Lane surface mines operate in a safe, responsible and efficient way, and enable us to make significant, long-term contributions to both the local supply chain and regional economy which we want to develop even further.
“We have been a significant employer in south east Northumberland for many years, and these plans will enable Banks to achieve our ambition of continue our presence in the county further into the future.”
Anyone wanting more information on the Shotton South West proposals should contact the Banks Mining development relations team on 0191 378 6100, or visit www.banksgroup.co.uk/shotton