Friday, February 13, 2015

Opencast appeal disappears

For over two years I have been fighting plans to opencast a site in my ward to the south of Marley Hill village. UK Coal (now Harworth Estates) had wanted to extract a million tonnes of coal from the former colliery site and surrounding countryside. Last June, Labour in Gateshead backed the plans and voted them through. That was not, however, the end of the story. The proposed site crossed into Co Durham as well so Durham County Council had to take a decision on the application as well. And they rejected it.

Time has now run out for Harworth Estates to appeal. And residents are beginning to ask why the Labour Party in Gateshead were such enthusiastic supporters of the plan.

In my 28 years on Gateshead Council, I've fought 4 plans for opencast mining in or next to my ward. So far I've won four and lost none.

Photo above - me, Kevin McClurey, Cllr Marilynn Ord and Dave Fawcett at the handing in of the petition I ran against the Marley Hill opencast plans. And below, part of the area proposed for opencasting but now saved.

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