Today Newcastle City Council stood with many of it’s residents and unanimously rejected Banks Group’s proposal to extract 800.000 tonnes of thermal coal from Dewley Hill!
We’re delighted at this result. At a virtual hearing councillors followed the Planning Officer’s advice and rejected the application due to five contraventions of the Newcastle Development and Allocations Plan 2015-2030; four contraventions of the Core strategy and Urban Core plan for Gateshead and Newcastle 2010-2030, a breach of the Northumberland minerals plan and paragraph 211a of the National Planning Policy Framework.
Brilliant local group against the application, Defend Dewley Hill are delighted by the result. Local resident Jos Forester-Melville said, “None of us set out on the journey to become activists, but this bunch of taxi drivers, occupational therapists, managers, shop assistants, care workers, teachers, young and older people alike, have joined forces to defend the land we live on and have inadvertently become a campaign group together striving to see an end to fossil fuels. We know that coal is the most catastrophic fossil fuel for our climate and that industries such as steel are rapidly developing new technology to eradicate coal use. We are so pleased that the council listened to common sense and stopped this application.”
There are currently no other applications for new opencast coal mines in the UK. What an incredible position to be in. There is only one opencast operating in England, it is due to close this year. There are none in Scotland and only two in Wales. We sincerely hope that the coal companies realise that “Coal is our heritage, not our future” as local people living in the North East’s ex-mining villages keep saying.
Defend Dewley Hill had instructed Richard Buxton, environmental solicitors, to contact the council on their behalf over worries that the Planning Officer’s report underestimated the likely impact on climate change; overestimated the benefit from fireclay and failed to properly protect local residents from noise and other impacts. The nearest homes are just 68m from the boundary of the extraction. The letter to the Planning Committee can be seen here.
Despite covid restrictions there have been numerous actions against this application this year. Cheeky supporters of the campaign dropped large banners from the High Level bridge in the City centre this week while pixies put out posters in bus shelters showing Banks Group’s real motivations. Check out the pictures.
‘Energy Recovery Investments Ltd’ is proprosing to extract the coal from 3 large coal tips in Bedwas, Caerphilly, South Wales. The company claims that it would use some of the sales of the coal to restore those coal tips later. The coal tips lie above a coal seam, which the company claims it would coincidentally have to dig into to create ‘lagoons’ for processing the coal from the coal tips…
The Crown Prosecution Service has dropped all charges against the four Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists who blockaded the entrance to the UK’s largest open-cast coal mine, last summer with a pink boat. While removing the immediate burden of legal confrontation for the defendants, the decision has left a “crater of unfinished business” in the fight for climate justice and accountability for local residents…
Citing different grounds to the High Court, the Court of Appeal has nevertheless found against our appeal. The Court of Appeal judges disagreed with the judge in the High Court, and decided that current statute limits Welsh Ministers to only deciding whether a new conditional licence may be issued…
Today, 6th February 2024, Coal Action Network was back in court, this time appealing last year’s decision by the court that the Welsh Government couldn’t prevent an extension at Aberpergwm coal mine.
After months of campaigning, five more major insurance companies have announced they will not support the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP)!
EMR Capital, the company that owns 81% of the proposed West Cumbria Coal mine is currently operating another coking coal mine – Kestrel.
On 23 October 2023, over 30 Wales-based NGOs, businesses, and community groups signed an open letter to Wales’ Climate Change Minister, Julie James, calling for the Welsh Government to ban coal mining once and for all (sent by Climate Cymru). On 10th January 2024, Julie James wrote back…
How did we get here? Ten years of events that have led to where we currently stand with the proposed Whitehaven coal mine
Port Talbot Steelworks in South Wales is the largest producer of virgin steel in the UK. Along with British Steel steelworks in Scunthorpe, Port Talbot steelworks is expected to shut down its blast furnaces in 2024 and build a 3 million tonne (MT) electric arc furnace (EAF) to recycle scrap steel. This is a measure to reduce the steelworks CO2 footprint by cutting out coal used in traditional blast furnaces in virgin steelmaking.