Object to Banks proposed expansion of the Bradley opencast
2nd December 2019
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Banks Group want to expand the Bradley Opencast coal mine in the Pont Valley. Campaign to Protect Pont Valley have launched a new campaign to oppose this planning application and they need your support.

Inspired by Defend Dewley Hill, which this summer garnered over 4,000 objections to Banks Group’s proposal to opencast near Newcastle, we want to raise ‘a mountain’ of objections to the scheme.

I am opposed to this extension of the Bradley opencast in the Pont Valley because…….

Can you email Durham County Council to tell them in your own words why you are opposed to this opencast extension?

Some of the reasons people object to it:
– Noise, dust and blasting near to homes
– This coal is not needed.
-Destruction of further habitats
-We need to stop burning fossil fuels now

Read on below to find out more about these.

Choose one or two. Find a way to say it in your own words. It doesn’t need to be long, or super knowledgeable. It needs to show you care. It can also be long if you have an eye for detail and some time.

Email your objection to planning@durham.gov.uk and copy in protectpontvalley@gmail.com

Make sure to include these two reference numbers DM/19/03567/MIN and DM/19/03569/VOCMW and your postcode.

I am opposed to this extension of the Bradley opencast in the Pont Valley because…….

Local Impacts
• Homes close to the site will be affected – there are homes 150 metres from the site, even closer than High Stables where people already experience daily noise, regular blasting and dust falling in their gardens, which they are breathing in. It will be only 80 meters from the local pub, the Jolly Drovers.

• There is a cumulative impact with the original mine and surrounding deforestation, an extension would add to this – local authorities are meant to protect people from the cumulative impact of ‘development’. Local residents complaints about the existing opencast ignored. Banks claim they offer ‘development with care’ but we feel we have been treated with nothing but contempt.

• Five more months of coal dust and blasting. Banks say that the expansion can be done within the original time frame and restoration completed in 12 months by August 2021. They are keeping quiet about coal extraction needing to go on for a further 5 months, to Jan 2021 instead of finishing in August 2020.

• There are protected species on the land they want to dig up – birds, butterflies, badgers and rare fungus. This habitat has already been severely damaged by the existing mine and an expansion will put increased stress on the diverse species that remain in the area. It permanently affects the migration and nesting sites of birds; swallows, cuckoos, skylarks and curlew which may never return.

• The new application doesn’t support any additional jobs. Banks say it supports jobs, but workers could move to their wind projects.

Global/National Reasons to object

• We don’t need more coal. Banks claim they are saving carbon emissions in transport because the coal is ‘local’, but they are adding to the UK’s huge surplus of coal, which is being increasingly exported abroad and contributes to climate change wherever it is burned.

• The tide has turned against coal. There have been no new opencast approved through the planning system since January 2016.

• Durham County Council has declared a Climate Emergency. The UK is meant to be carbon neutral by 2050.

• Banks coal is going to power stations where there is already a substantial surplus. They claim their coal is essential for steel manufacturing but have provided no evidence that that is where it’s going. Furthermore, the steel industry already has established suppliers of coal and is not expanding.

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3 comments

  1. Is it possible/useful to object if not resident in County Durham?

    1. Yes, by all means. The climate change impacts are felt by us all and we can all want the best for the nearby community and the wildlife living there.

  2. I grew up in a coal-mining community in the Rhondda Valley in South Wales. We were dependent on coal fro cooking, warmth and wages. But the toll it took on our community can never be underestimated. Lives were lost both underground and above ground with miners falling sick with silicosis and families left with nothing after burying the bread-winner.
    But… the world has changed and we must now understand that coal is not the answer. burning coal is polluting; transporting it is polluting.
    No more coal mines. Instead governments should seek a way to help people in mining communities find new ways of earning an income but please, don’t let the communities die from lack of investment and care.