What is happening at Dewley Hill?
Banks Mining and Ibstock Brick submitted a joint application to Newcastle City Council to extract 800,000 tonnes of high quality, north east coal and 400,000 tonnes of fireclay for the brick making industry over a three and a half year period, which was refused at the planning committee on Friday 18th December 2020.

Banks Mining and Ibstock Brick are now considering the Council’s reasons for refusal before deciding whether to appeal the decision.

This map illustrates the proposed area for the mine – which is currently being used as agricultural land.

Why do we need this mine?

Despite the ongoing phase out of coal for energy generation in the UK, there is an ongoing demand for quality coal for use by industry. Coal is instrumental in:

  • Steel and cement manufacturing
  • Food manufacture
  • Heritage railways
  • Open fires for those not connected to the gas grid

To meet this demand, we can either import coal from overseas locations such as the US, Australia, Colombia and most commonly, Russia – or we can mine it here in the UK.

The UK’s need for bricks

The UK is currently experiencing a housing crisis, with a shortfall that is somewhere between 250,000-300,000 new homes needed every year. However, due to lack of natural materials, the UK had to import many of the bricks needed to build houses. In 2017 alone there was an estimated shortfall of 423 million bricks – the equivalent of 49,764 homes.

To create the bricks needed for our homes, we need coal. That is why Dewley Hill is so essential – supplying British people with the raw materials needed to build our homes.

The minerals from Dewley Hill can be mined, restored and transported to UK customers for less carbon dioxide emissions than just for the coal to be transported from Newcastle, Australia or Murmansk, Russia to the UK.

Increasing imports of coal simply ‘off-shores’ our environmental responsibilities without the significant local economic and employment opportunities and environmental enhancements that Dewley Hill will deliver. Imports would inevitably result in a global increase in greenhouse gas emissions, due to the carbon dioxide emissions generated by transportation. Never mind ‘Keep it in the Ground’ – whilst we still need coal for these vitally important industries the message should be ‘Keep it in Russia’.

If we do not produce our own coal in the UK we simply import more from countries such as Russia, the USA, Colombia and Australia which produces more CO2 via its extraction and transportation than coal produced in the UK.

What benefits would Dewley Hill bring?
Dewley Hill would deliver a significant number of benefits which include:

  • Directly employing 50 people in well-paid jobs creating skills for long term careers
  • Investing an estimated £8.5m in local contractors and suppliers, boosting local economies
  • The provision of a £50,000 community fund available for local charities and community groups
  • The introduction of a £50,000 skills and training fund to support local unemployed people overcome barriers to work
  • Supporting UK brickmaking by supplying fireclay to the nearby Ibstock Throckley brickworks, which equates to £4m staying in Newcastle brickmaking rather than being spent elsewhere.
  • The equivalent of £56m remaining in the UK economy as opposed to buying the coal from abroad.

Find out more about the advantages the project will bring on our benefits page.

How will it impact the local landscape and wildlife?

We develop and deliver our sites according to a site specific which is designed to protect and enhance local wildlife. We monitor the site before, during and after the works to make sure that the aims of the action plan are being delivered and often exceeded.  Before the site is worked, we create a clear vision of how the landscape will look when we have completed the works, which you can view for Dewley Hill. Click here to read our action plan.

During operations, the perimeter of the site is screened with top and sub soil mounds, which are seeded quickly to provide a natural looking shelter within which the site operates. An example of these mounds at our Brenkley Lane site can be found below.

Once the site has been finished, a new area of interest for the public to enjoy will be created. We will deliver:

  • 16ha of Carr woodland which will include approximately 26,000 trees and shrubs
  • 4ha of new woodland which equates to approximately 6,400 new trees and shrubs
  • 3ha of species rich grassland which is especially important for promoting insect life and providing wildlife links through farmland areas
  • 7 km of new hedgerows
  • 1km of footpaths and bridleways for use by people on bike, horse or for walking
  • Wildlife islands and conservation headlands to prove a haven for wildlife even within the agricultural areas
  • 2km reinstatement of historic waggonways which cross the Dewley Hill site but which have fallen into disrepair

Learn more about the project’s timeline on our project details page.

How will we minimise any disruption?

We keep noise, dust and disruption to a minimum during all of our works. We have fitted our vehicles with countermeasures to reduce noise, constantly monitor air quality on site and wash our trucks before they leave site to keep local roads clean.

Our site managers are available to talk through any concerns that you may have and resolve any issues that may arise.

Why produce the minerals at Dewley Hill?

Coal and fireclay is used by key industries in the UK and will continue to be so for the near future. We face a clear choice: import it, or mine it here. Importing coal carries heavy environmental burdens due to carbon emissions – whereas mining it in the UK allows us to safely extract our own supply of quality coal at a far less carbon emission cost.

Get in touch

We welcome your feedback

Whether you wish to tell us that we have done something really well or that we could have done something better we value your feedback.

It helps us to shape the way we operate and to continually improve our performance. It is very much part of our development with care approach.

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The information in this form will be emailed to the Banks Group and may be passed on to the relevant planning officer.

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