This years Earth First! Winter Moot was held in Dipton Community Centre, which looks over the proposed site for an open-cast at Bradley, in County Durham. Members of the local campaign against the mine have asked their supporters to write in their objection to the development.
UK Coal’s application is expected to be heard by the planning officials or Durham Council in the near future. The local campaign would appreciate it if people would write in letters of objection to the following address, stating the Application No. CMA/1/37
Plannng Development Control Team
Regeneration and Economic Development
Durham County Council
The facts about this proposed mine:
- UK Coal has applied to surface mine 556,000 tonnes of coal from a coal seem covering 22,000 acres.
- The current version of the application is has not yet gone to the Planning Authority.
- The application is being resisted by The Pont Valley Network www.pontvalley.net
- If the application goes ahead the residents are particularly concerned about the loss of their heritage sites.
- The final destination for the coal is either the steel industry or a power station generating electricity.
- Burning this coal will release over 2 million tonnes of CO2 being released into the atmosphere.
- UK coal say the mine will create 38 jobs. Mr Cory of UK Coal says that there will be no new jobs but people will be transferred to this site.
- The mine will need 3 lorry trips per hour, each way.
- UK coal and other surface mining companies have applications at the planning stages for a further 13 mines in the area and a further 5 have been granted in the area.
- The nearest planned site also currently at the planning stages is Skons Park, which Hall construction are applying to extract half a million tonnes of coal fire clay. This application was last refused in 2007 but Halls have since reapplied this year.
The Bradley site is 10 miles south of Newcastle in a beautiful area. The proposed site can be seen from Newcastle and Cheviot on a clear day. A mine would scar the landscape; cause habitat destruction which would affect many species, including Great Crested Newts and Red Kites; contribute to catastrophic climate change; increase traffic locally and destroy the remains of wagon-ways and bell pit and shaft mines in the area. Residents are also concerned that if the mine is given the go ahead then they will see further extensions applied for and granted.