Community is urged to speak up on developments

A POLITICIAN has called on the community to speak up on major development plans.

Liberal Democrat campaigner Julie Porksen, who will stand for the Berwick upon Tweed constituency at the next general election, has urged residents around Widdrington to find out more about proposals for a new opencast site and leisure resort in the area.

The Banks Group is investigating the possibility of mining up to seven million tonnes of coal over ten years at Highthorn near Druridge Bay, while Active Leisure is close to submitting an application for a £50million holiday village and adventure park on the site of the former Steadsburn opencast site.

Ms Porksen visited Banks’ opencast mine at Shotton to take a look at the operation and restoration work, and she toured the proposed Highthorn site.

She also attended an Active Leisure community consultation event in Widdrington Village.

Now she says it is vital that local residents take part in the consultation and planning processes for the two proposals.

“An opencast site and a leisure resort would result in much change for the businesses and residents in the communities in the Widdrington area,” she said.

“The proposals for these two large-scale developments would have an impact on jobs, the environment, roads and amenity in the immediate area, and more widely across Northumberland.

“I urge residents and businesses to participate as fully as possible in both consultations and in the planning process when that starts so that their views are heard by both the developers and Northumberland County Council.”