Positive response to proposed additional extraction at Shotton and Brenkley Lane surface mines

May 2, 2013 | Brenkley News

New plans to mine around a million additional tonnes of coal at two north east surface mines which will help sustain around 200 local jobs have gone on display for the first time.

Regional employer Banks Mining has been successfully operating the Shotton surface mine in south east Northumberland and the Brenkley Lane surface mine in Newcastle since 2008 and 2010 respectively, and currently contributes around £20m to the regional economy every year through the two sites.

Banks has now identified an additional three hectare area at the Brenkley Lane surface mine from which it is looking to mine over 400,000 tonnes of coal, as well as two additional areas for mining operations in the south west corner and on the western side of the Shotton site, and held two public exhibitions to talk about its plans to local people and answer their questions.

The two 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 £700,000 given to groups and good causes in Northumberland over the last nine years.

Mark Dowdall, Banks’ environment and community director, says: “Having operated in this area for more than three decades, our way of working is already well known to people here, and we go to great lengths to take an inclusive, consultative approach to developing all our proposals.

“The initial discussions we have held with community representatives over recent months about these two schemes has been very positive indeed, and we were pleased with the number of exhibition visitors who recognised the benefits that undertaking this additional work would bring to the area.

“The Brenkley Lane and Shotton surface mines operate in a safe, responsible and efficient way, and enable us to make significant, long-term contributions to both the local and wider regional economies which we want to develop even further.

“We will now review the comments gathered at the event in the context of developing and finalising our planning applications, and will ensure all interested parties are kept fully informed as work progresses.”

The Brenkley Lane work would not require any extension of the site’s current operational timescale, with the site still set to be completely restored by the end of 2021.

The Brenkley Lane work would not require any extension of the site’s current operational timescale, with the site still set to be completely restored by the end of 2021.

Up to 550,000 tonnes of coal would be extracted from the two Shotton locations, which would be transported away from the region by rail from the port of Blyth.  The additional work would require a 12 month extension to the lifetime of the Shotton site, with coaling completed by October 2017 and full restoration carried out by October 2019.

A planning application for the Shotton South West scheme is expected to be submitted to Northumberland County Council within the next few weeks, with a planning application for the Brenkley Additional scheme being submitted to both Northumberland County Council and Newcastle City Council around the same time.

Further surveying work will be carried out on the second new area at Shotton, known as Shotton Triangle, over the next few months before  detailed proposals are announced.

Anyone wanting more information on the new Shotton or Brenkley Lane proposals should contact the Banks Mining development relations team on 0191 378 6100, or via brenkley@banksgroup.co.uk or shotton@banksgroup.co.uk

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