In order to realise our ambitions for Highthorn we must secure planning permission from Northumberland County Council.
The planning process is long and thorough and we will need to demonstrate the strength of the social, economic and environmental benefits that Highthorn will deliver. We will also need to show that we have responded to feedback from the local community and other consultees.
We have set out below the estimated timescales we are working towards. This is subject to change, and as part of our commitment to listening to the local community, we have already reduced the size and length of the project by over 500 hectares (c1,235 acres) and up to three operational years from the initial proposals. If there are any further changes, we will continue to update this timeline as the project develops.
Summer 2013 – Official project launch
Summer 2013 to Summer 2015 – Conversations with the local community and Banks Mining to shape the design of the mine and to agree the package of social, economic and environmental benefits that will be delivered.
Summer 2013 to Summer 2015 – Technical studies and assessments required for the planning application including:
- Ecological Surveys
- Traffic Assessments
- Archaeological Digs
- Geotechnical studies
- Test Drilling
Autumn 2015 – Submission of planning application to Northumberland County Council
Autumn 2015 – Official consultation by Northumberland County Council with statutory consultees and the general public
Spring 2016 – Decision by the Planning and Environment Committee at Northumberland County Council
c2018 to 2023 – Proposed Operations Phase (dependent on above and call in and subsequent decision timing)
c2023/24 – Coal extraction and restoration completed
c2028/29 – End of five year aftercare period