May 19, 2014 | Brenkley News
Plans to allow additional work at a north east surface mine have taken a step forward after winning the unanimous backing of Newcastle City Council’s planning committee.
Regional employer Banks Mining is looking to continue its operations at the Brenkley Lane surface mine, which sits to the north of Newcastle, and has identified an additional 14 hectare area on the site from which it wants to mine over 500,000 further tonnes of coal.
In September last year, Banks submitted a planning application for the project to both Northumberland County Council and Newcastle City Council, as the site straddles their respective areas.
And after being recommended for approval by Newcastle City Council planning officers, the proposals have now been supported by all the members of the City Council’s planning committee.
A decision by Northumberland County Council on the planning application is expected in the coming months.
Mark Dowdall, Banks’ environment and community director, says: “Brenkley Lane has operated in a safe, responsible and efficient way for the last four years, and already makes a major contribution to the local area in terms of jobs, supply chain investment and community funding which we’re now looking to increase.
“We’re pleased that Newcastle City Council’s planning committee members have given such a strong mandate to our planning application, and hope their views will be replicated by their peers at the County Council.”
The Brenkley Lane mine has been operating successfully since 2010, with more than 200 people employed across it and Banks’ nearby Shotton surface mine.
The two sites already contribute around £35m to the regional economy every year through wages and the regional supply chain, as well as more than £400,000 in annual business rates to Northumberland County Council and Newcastle City Council.
The additional 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.
If planning permission is also granted by Northumberland County Council for this additional work, it would help enable Banks to increase its support for local facilities through the Brenkley Lane Community Fund, which provides grants to local community groups, voluntary organisations and environmental projects.
Mark Dowdall continues: “Around 40% of the energy that we all use in the UK is produced through coal, and it makes far greater sense from an economic, environmental, employment and energy security point of view to utilise appropriate domestic supplies rather than relying on imports from potentially-unstable overseas markets.”
Anyone wanting more information on the Brenkley Additional proposals should contact the Banks Mining development relations team via firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.banksgroups.co.uk/brenkley-lane