More mining is planned

PLANS have been put forward to extract another half a million tonnes of coal from a mine near Blagdon.

Banks Mining has submitted a planning application to allow the additional work at its Brenkley Lane surface mine near the Milkhope Centre.

The company has identified an extra 14 hectares on the existing site where it could mine a further 500,000 tonnes of coal.

It would not require any extension of the current operational timescale of the mine, which would still be set for complete restoration by the end of 2021.

Banks Environment and Community Director Mark Dowdall said: “Banks Mining sites deliver significant employment, supply chain and community benefits to the local area and we are pleased that the local feedback about these proposals has been very positive.

“The Brenkley Lane surface mine operates in a safe, responsible and efficient way, and the additional work we’re looking to undertake will help provide both continuity of employment for the many local people that work on the site and additional revenues to go towards further significant improvements of local community facilities.

“Banks has been a significant employer in south east Northumberland for many years and our ambition is to remain so for many more years to come.”

The mine has been operating since 2010 and along with Banks’ nearby Shotton mine, the company says it contributes £35million to the regional economy. More than 200 people are employed at the sites and they provide more than £400,000 in annual business rates. The extension will increase cash for the Brenkley Lane Community Fund.