Banks Mining Submits Scoping Report For New Northumberland Surface Mine

May 19, 2010 | Brenkley News

Banks Mining has submitted a scoping report to Northumberland County Council on plans for a new surface coal mine in south east Northumberland. The scoping report outlines the work and studies that will be carried out in preparing a planning application.

The proposed Ferneybeds site is located eight miles north west of Ashington, to the south of the village of Widdrington Station, and initial investigations suggest that it contains an estimated 750,000 tonnes of coal.

Banks has carried out drilling investigations to confirm the details of the coal reserves, and can now confirm that they will proceed with a full planning application later this year.

The site would create around 40 jobs, contributing in the region of £1million in wages a year to the local economy, as well as supporting over 350 other jobs within the Banks Group. In addition the site would support many other regional supply chain businesses, with around £4million being spent on suppliers annually.

A full public consultation process will be carried out by Banks, prior to submitting a planning application later this year. This will include a series of meetings, an information leaflet and a public exhibition. This will ensure local people have the opportunity to get as much information as possible and to provide feedback which will be fed into the development of proposals for the site.

Mark Dowdall, Banks’ environment and community director, adds: “This report represents the first phase of work on this project. Part of the process of preparing the planning application involves consulting with a wide range of local communities and stakeholders over the coming months, and we will continue to work hard to ensure everyone has an opportunity to express their opinion about our plans.

“Sites such as Ferneybeds are important as coal has a central role to play in meeting the UK’s energy generation needs for the foreseeable future. It is an essential part of the energy mix and currently generates approximately one third of the electricity we use.”
The Ferneybeds site has been identified as a suitable location for a surface mine and offers easy access to the nearby A1068, which would negate the need for arriving or departing HGVs to travel through Widdrington Station.

It is also a sufficient distance from the village, ensuring that environmental issues are well managed to comply with Northumberland County Council’s required limits.

Anyone who wants more information or wishes to see a copy of the scoping report should contact Katie Perkin on 01740 658500 or email

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