Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Petition handed in against plans for an opencast coal mine at Druridge Bay

Campaigners outside the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government in London Credit: ITV News

A petition with almost 45,000 signatures on it demanding an end to plans for an opencast coal mine at Druridge Bay in Northumberland has been submitted to the government.

Protesters from Friends of the Earth gathered outside the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and carried placards reading 'Save Druridge. No opencast coal'.

They then took part in a mini-march to hand in the petition, which urges Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary James Brokenshire to reject the construction of the proposed mine.

The Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary James Brokenshire has been asked to reject the mine Credit: PA Images

Mr Brokenshire's predecessor, Sajid Javid, had previously refused planning permission for the Druridge Bay mine in March 2018, citing its ecological impacts as a strong reason.

However, Banks Mining, the firm who want to see the construction of a mine, successfully challenged his decision in the courts.

It now means Mr Brokenshire has to make his own decision on the case. He is expected to announce his decision on or before June 13.

A Banks Mining spokesperson said it made sense to domesticate coal production rather than have it imported.

The UK still needs coal for a range of essential industrial processes such as steel, cement and food production, and it makes far greater sense for us to use domestic reserves instead of imported supplies which have significantly higher greenhouse gas emissions linked to their mining and transportation.

– Banks Mining Spokesperson

Meanwhile, Friends of the Earth said the world faced a "climate emergency" and that a new mine in Northumberland was not needed.

Craig Bennett, Friends of the Earth Chief Executive. said: "Power stations already have enough stock-piled coal to last until they close down in 2025, so it would be ludicrous and inexplicable to give the green light to a new climate-wrecking coal mine such as Druridge Bay.

"Sajid Javid made the right decision for the right reason last year, rejecting the mine due to its impact on climate breakdown. Mr Brokenshire must again say no.

"With the world facing a climate emergency it's time to consign coal to the history books and build a cleaner, safer future based on energy efficiency and the UK's vast renewable power potential."