Extra work at mine site is proposed

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A planning application to allow additional work at a north east surface mine has been submitted for planning approval.

Regional employer Banks Mining is looking to continue its operations at the Brenkley Lane site near Blagdon, south of Morpeth, and has identified an additional 14-hectare area from which it wants to extract 500,000 further tonnes of coal.

The additional work would not require any extension of the site’s current operational timescale.

And Banks said the site will still be completely restored by the end of 2021.

Mark Dowdall, Banks’ environment and community director, said: “The Brenkley Lane surface mine operates in a safe, responsible and efficient way, and the additional work we’re looking to undertake will help provide both continuity of employment for the many local people that work on the site and additional revenues to go towards further significant improvements of local community facilities.”

The company has also started initial community consultations for a new surface mine at Highthorn, to the east of the village of Widdrington Station.

The consultation process will continue into next year, and a planning application is not expected to be ready for submission until summer 2014 at the earliest.