Community workshops are planned

Local residents, community groups and employers are being invited to have their say in the development of proposals for a new surface mine in south east Northumberland.

In July 2013, Banks Mining announced it was looking at plans for the new Highthorn surface mining scheme, and have submitted a scoping report to Northumberland County Council which reflects changes made to its outline ideas for the project.

These changes include the time between the proposed start of operations in 2016 to the completion of restoration being reduced from 13 years to between eight and ten years, and the removal of 114 hectares to the east of Widdrington village from the study area being considered for the scheme.

The firm is now inviting local people to come to a series of community workshops to meet with the Highthorn project team and help to shape the plans for the Highthorn project.

The first workshop will take place from 6.30pm on Monday, January 19,at Widdrington Community Centre in Widdrington Station, with further events taking place in the following months in advance of the submission of a Highthorn planning application, which is expected to happen in late spring 2015. Pre-register at website