Proposed Surface Mine Will Bring Jobs And Community Benefits

May 13, 2010 | Community News

Plans for a new surface mine development to the east of Ledston Village in Leeds will bring local employment and community benefits.

Banks Mining hopes to mine approximately 875,000 tonnes of coal over a five and a quarter year (green to green) period from the Newton Lane site.

If the site does go ahead, it would create around 40 jobs at the site, as well as supporting over 350 other jobs within the Banks Group. In addition the site would support many other local supply chain businesses.

In addition, once mining is complete, full restoration of the site would also lead to the creation of new footpaths and bridleways and new wetland close to the RSPB’s Fairburn Ings Nature Reserve. Ecological and habitat improvements would also be made through an extension to Capon Hill Wood.

Banks Mining initially put forward proposals for the Newton Lane site to Leeds City Council at the end of 2006. No objections were received on the original proposal from DEFRA, English Heritage, the Environment Agency, Natural England, the RSPB and West Yorkshire Archaeology and all the City Council departments.

The plans were recommended for approval by the Council’s officers but the Council rejected that advice and refused the proposals which are now the subject of a public inquiry which begins on Tuesday (18 May).

The Banks Group’s policy is to support eligible projects in the vicinity of any Banks’ developments, brought forward by community groups and voluntary organisations through the Banks Community Fund, and this fund is available regardless of whether a scheme has been granted planning permission.

Anyone who would like to know more about this fund can visit

Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at The Banks Group, says: “The Banks Group has a proven track record of delivering environmentally-sensitive surface mine schemes.

“We have successfully brought our Development With Care approach to working and restoring over 100 surface mines across the UK, including more than 20 sites in Yorkshire.

“We are confident that our plans for the Newton Lane site, which include a number of benefits, can be delivered in an environmentally acceptable manner.

“Coal currently generates one third of the electricity we use and securing its future supply is essential to fulfilling the UK’s energy generation needs.”

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