Letters of support from local community for mine extension outweigh local objections by almost four to one
BANKS Mining say the number of letters sent by people living close to the Bradley surface mine, in Co. Durham, in support of a small extension to the site has outweighed the number of local objections by a ratio of almost four to one.
The company is looking to extract around 90,000 tonnes of high-quality coal for supply to UK industrial customers and 20,000 tonnes of fireclay for use by regional brickmakers from an 18.5ha area to the west of the current Bradley site.
The planning application is set to be considered by Durham County Council’s planning committee on Wednesday 1 July, with the Council’s planning officers recommending it for approval.
With the formal consultation period now closed, 124 letters of support for the project have been received by the Council from people living within a one-mile radius of the site, compared with just 33 letters of objection from residents across the same area.
Local resident Jack French, who lives in Leadgate, close to the Bradley surface mine, commented: ‘We’ve watched the site take shape over the last couple of years and have hardly noticed any impact on our area, if any at all.
‘The extension will be closer to where we live, but it’s not a concern for us and Banks have been in regular touch to let us know what they’re hoping will be happening there.’
Lewis Stokes, community relations manager at The Banks Group, said: ‘Since the announcement of the original Bradley scheme, we’ve worked very hard in local communities to show people how we work, highlight the benefits that our operations bring to the area and answer any questions that crop up.
‘The level of local support we’ve had for the extension reflects the responsible way in which we’ve worked at the Bradley site over the last two-and-a-half years, and we’re very grateful to all those who’ve written to Durham County Council to express their backing for our extension plans.’
He added: ‘It’s been more than disappointing to see many spurious objections being lodged to our planning application which reference local issues arising at our current Bradley site by people living in all sorts of far-flung parts of the UK who would most likely struggle to locate Co. Durham on a map, let alone Leadgate.
‘Our highly-skilled team has been producing high-quality coal at Bradley for more than two years in the safest, most efficient and most responsible way possible, and we very much hope that Durham County Council will allow us to produce more of the coal that British industry very much needs within our home county.’