Decision day coming for firm’s new opencast plans

A COMPANY’S plans to more than double its operations at a Northumberland opencast site have been given the green light by county planners.

The application to vary conditions includes a request to increase lorry movements each day to the Well Hill mine, near Stannington, so more excavation can be carried out.

Permission to extract 130,000 tonnes of coal has already been granted to Hargreaves Production Surface Mining, but it has subsequently found 190,000 tonnes of good quality fireclay and glacial clay, which could be sold on.

The firm proposes an increase in lorry movements at the site from 20 a day over six days, to 44 a day, Monday to Friday. It would send half the number along the agreed route through Glororum, with the remainder travelling between Tranwell, Loansdean and Clifton and the A1.

County council planning officers have recommended that the planning and environment committee approves the changes when it meets on Tuesday.

Concerns have previously been raised by Morpeth Town Council about the lorry movements and two of its councillors recently went on a site visit with members of Stannington Parish Council.

These councillors will be joined by representatives of Mitford Parish Council at a meeting this week to further discuss the matter.