New plans for mine go on display

UPDATED plans for a proposed surface mine in south east Northumberland have gone on public display this week.

Banks Mining is putting forward plans for the proposed Ferneybeds site, to the south of Widdrington Station.

After undertaking an extensive consultation programme across the area, Banks has now updated the design of its proposed scheme and included a number of ideas provided by the public during a series of community workshops.

The locations of the access road and compound at the proposed site have been moved, and transportation plans have been changed to ensure coal lorries do not use the Mile Road which runs into Widdrington Station.

The duration of the scheme has been reduced from five to three years and improvements have been made to the proposed screening of the site from the village.

The updated proposals wenton display at ATAC Community Hall in Widdrington Station, and Linton Village Hall in Linton Colliery.

Banks is looking to extract around 750,000 tonnes of coal from the site, which offers easy access to the nearby A1068.

If the application is approved, the Ferneybeds scheme would support around 40 jobs, as well as others in local supply chain businesses.

Mark Dowdall, Banks’ environment and community director, said: “The active involvement of local people has been central to the development of these new proposals, and we hope that the changes we’ve made in association with local people’s ideas will be welcomed by the wider community.

“Banks already employs a large number of people in and around the area, with businesses in the supply chain also benefiting substantially from our operations, and it is our ambition to increase the amount of local jobs we support both directly and indirectly through the substantial investment we would make in the Ferneybeds scheme.”

“Coal will remain a crucial part of the ‘energy mix’ that the UK needs to meet its energy generation requirements for the foreseeable future, and we know that there would be great demand for the high quality coal that we would extract from the Ferneybeds site, so we hope as many people as possible will come along to these exhibitions to find out more about how we plan to take this project forward.”

For more information on the updated proposals contact the project team on (0191) 378 6100 or emaikl ferneybeds@banksgroup.co.uk