Family’s fears over ‘blight’ of opencast plans

Sarah and Phillip Blythe, with children Indi and Sennen, outside their home at Druridge Bay.
Sarah and Phillip Blythe, with children Indi and Sennen, outside their home at Druridge Bay.
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Worried parents have spoken of their fears that their son and daughter’s childhood will be blighted by opencast mining.

Phillip and Sarah Blythe moved to Druridge Bay in 2005.

But now they say plans by Banks Mining to create an opencast site south west of their home could give them a view of baffle banks and lead to noise and smells from machinery.

And they are anxious that their children, four-year-old Indi and three-year-old Sennen, could grow up in such an environment.

Mr Blythe said: “We know that traditionally south east Northumberland is a mining area, but this beautiful part of the country has been subjected to more than its fair share of environmental damages over the years. We’ve had a foot and mouth burial site, opencast mining, and next up is Ferneybeds in Widdrington Station. Enough is enough.”

A Save Druridge petition against the plans has attracted more than 5,000 signatures.

Banks says its proposed Highthorn scheme will sustain jobs, bring investment, fund community projects and provide new wildlife habitats and public spaces.

A protest walk from Cresswell to Druridge Farm on Sunday, May 3, starts at 11am.

Families, dogs and horses welcome.