Public meeting over Highthorn mine plan is fully booked

A Highthorn exhibition last year.
A Highthorn exhibition last year.

All spaces have been taken for a public meeting about a proposed surface mine near Widdrington.

The meeting on Thursday (February 25) will provide information and the opportunity for questions about the proposal by the Banks Group for a surface coal mine at Highthorn.

Northumberland County Council asked people to pre-register for the event due the high level of interest in the application and the maximum capacity of the venue – and all places have been taken.

Confirmation of their place is currently being issued to all those who have registered. Those who turn up on the evening of the event without having pre-registered will only be admitted if spaces become available.

The public meeting is intended to provide officers and councillors with the opportunity to hear first-hand issues of local concern which may be relevant to consideration of the planning application. It is also to provide the local community with information about the planning application and the planning process.

Officers from Northumberland County Council will give a short presentation about the proposal, the planning process and the consultation responses so far. The meeting will then be opened to questions from the public, which will be answered by representatives of the Banks Group and the council.

Feedback from the public meeting will be considered as part of the planning application.

The planning application by the Banks Group is for development of a new surface mine to extract coal, sandstone and fireclay, with subsequent restoration to agricultural and ecological uses.

The target date for the application to be considered by the planning committee is currently June 2016, although this is subject to change.