Decision date for opencast mine bid ‘has been delayed’

A section of the proposed Highthorn opencast mine site near Widdrington and Druridge Bay.
A section of the proposed Highthorn opencast mine site near Widdrington and Druridge Bay.

The date for a ruling on proposed Highthorn opencast mine in Northumberland has been delayed, it is claimed.

Banks Mining last year successfully lodged a High Court challenge to the former Secretary of State Sajid Javid’s decision to reject its planning application for a surface mine near Druridge Bay.

The project was then returned to the desk of Mr Javid’s successor, James Brokenshire, for consideration.

Lynne Tate, who is part of the Save Druridge campaign group, said that the group has received written correspondence from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to say the date for Mr Brokenshire’s decision has been delayed to on or before May 20 due to an EU directive that meant further ecology information needed to be submitted.

A MHCLG spokesman neither confirmed nor denied this, saying: “The application is under consideration by the Secretary of State and a decision will be announced in due course.”