Can you help the Campaign to Protect Pont Valley?
We are asking that you email James Brokenshire, the Secretary of State for Communities, Housing and Local Government and ask him to stop the Bradley opencast. A template letter is below.
The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org please copy in email@example.com, or you can write to Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government, Fry Building, 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF.
James Brokenshire has the legal authority to stop this mine. We have been told that he is currently reviewing the application.
He can only step in if the original decision was grossly incorrect. Please feel free to personalise the email by adding in your own reasons against the opencast or coal in general. Remember to put your name, full postal address including post code and date the letter.
Your letter could really make a difference.
Dear James Brokenshire,
Re. Bradley Opencast Coalmine, Land Adjacent to the A692 Road, known as Bradley, Near Leadgate, Consett, County Durham, DHS 7SL
I am writing to you to request that your department urgently intervenes to stop Banks Group from opencast coal mining at the Bradley, in County Durham.
I understand that you can intervene in developments where the original decision to grant planning permission was grossly wrong and the development is likely to damage the wider public interest, as is laid out in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, under section 100 and 102.
Climate change is a real threat to our everyday lives. Earlier this year your government laid out its methods to phase-out coal by the end of 2025. Due to this and other government policies your predecessor chose to reject an application to opencast 3 million tonnes of coal from Northumberland at Highthorn. It is consistent with this ruling that planning permission at Bradley is now overturned.
The effects of the proposed mine on climate change were not adequately considered at the planning appeal which led to the approval of the Bradley mine. In the Highthorn decision it was deemed that approval would be inconsistent with the Written Ministerial Statement on the Central Government’s
commitment to replace coal-fired power stations as made by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change on 18 November 2015.
When planning permission was granted, it was said that “the projected supply of coal should be taken to represent a national benefit carrying great weight.” (Inspector’s Decision para. 91.) In 2015 coal supplied 22% of the UK’s energy, since then dependency on coal has decreased to 6.2% in the last year. (http://www.mygridgb.co.uk/last-12-months/) This shows that the national benefit of this coal was significantly over valued.
The UK Government, along with the Canadian Government, launched the Global Powering Past Coal Alliance in November 2017.The Alliance’s Declaration notes that:
”The health effects of air pollution from burning coal, including respiratory diseases and premature deaths, impose massive costs in both human and economic terms. Recent analysis has found that more than 800,000 people die each year around the world from the pollution generated by burning coal.
As a result, phasing out traditional coal power is one of the most important steps governments can take to tackle climate change and meet our commitment to keep global temperature increase well below 2°C, and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5°C.”
Opencast coal mining also contributes to air borne particulates and as such an increase would cause health problems for those living in the nearest houses to the Bradley site, some lie within 300m of the boundary. In the UK’s current drive to improve air quality it is vital to stop this opencast.
There is significant national interest in stopping this development from proceeding. Intervention is required urgently as the area is being stripped, dust and noise pollution are increasing, biodiversity has been lost and local people are strongly against this application.
I look forward to your response.