This is a short initial reaction to today's news that Secretary of State Sajid Javid has decided that permission should be refused for the proposal for an opencast mine at Druridge Bay in Northumberland. The refusal of permission as a direct consequence that this proposal was not aligned with Government policy on reducing the use of fossil fuels is both significant and welcome - here is a link to the letter announcing the decision.
We're delighted that the Government has put an end to this opencast proposal. Climate change is the greatest long-term threat to wildlife and if this scheme had gone ahead it would have had a measurable and avoidable impact it the UK's climate emissions. This is a courageous decision that shows the Government is taking its commitments to phase out coal power seriously, a crucial step in delivering the UK's emissions reduction targets and in tackling global climate change. This keeps the UK at the front of international efforts to phase out coal power.
A little background; in July 2016, Northumberland County Council voted unanimously to approve HJ Banks’ proposal for an opencast mine at Druridge Bay, which would see the extraction of three million tonnes of coal. However, Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, intervened, calling a public inquiry to ascertain whether this decision was consistent with the Government’s energy policy. This inquiry was held last summer and the RSPB submitted arguments to the planning inspector against the proposal based on its negative effects on climate change and local wildlife
This is a moment for all those involved in striving to stop this climate-wrecking proposal to reflect on the significance of this decision and share in the congratulations for a successful campaign.
This battle has been long and hard fought, with people from all quarters of the political spectrum pulling together, fighting the short-term economic gain which would have been at the cost of the local environment and adding significantly to the damage we are doing to the world.
It's not quite at an end yet. Banks Mining still have the chance to challenge this in the High Court. If they do, then we who have been working against this proposal will, of course, continue to stand and fight against it.
I’ve just been reading that the mining company could appeal to the high court if they so wish. I sincearly hope the mining company don’t do that.
This is excellent news. As I live in Gateshead in Tyne and Wear, I have visited Druridge Bay with my local RSPB Local Group before and my RSPB Group are visiting the Druridge Bay area later in the year.
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