Parish draws up list of demands

PARISH councillors have issued a list of demands to opencast operators.

Members of Stannington Parish Council are dismayed that permission has been given for a new opencast mine at Well Hill, near Glororum, after speaking out about road safety issues, the potential for noise, dust and light pollution, and disruption to residents.

And now they have called on applicant Hargreaves Services to ensure it is a good neighbour.

Parish Chairman Karen Carins said: “We are very disappointed that the opencast was given approval.

“We have asked that a liaison committee and community benefits fund are set up for the residents of St Mary’s, Glororum and the surrounding area, or a lump sum be given to the parish council for their benefit.

“Passing bays that were used the last time the area was mined should be reinstated from the A1 to the site, and we also asked for temporary traffic lights, which need to be placed at either end of Glororum to avoid conflict with oncoming vehicles while the site is being mined.

“We have asked Hargreaves to use real-time dust monitors so that work can cease during high winds or excess dust levels. We asked it to minimise the light pollution, ensure that the mounds that surround the site do fully screen the site, and put in enforcement so that only one lorry per hour goes through.

“We also asked that all the employees for the site must come from within Stannington parish.”

Coun Carins has already spoken to a Hargreaves director about the issues and told him a liaision committee must be established as soon as possible.

She added: “We are extremely angry with County Highways and we don’t feel it understands the problems in Glororum.

“We also ask the county council to take full responsibility if there is any damage to persons or property now that it is appraised of the road safety issues around this opencast site.”

Planning consent was granted by Northumberland County Council last week for Hargreaves to mine the site for two-and-a-half-years.