Pre-registration required for meeting on controversial mine plans

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett met protesters at Cresswell last week. 'Picture by Jane Coltman
Green Party leader Natalie Bennett met protesters at Cresswell last week. 'Picture by Jane Coltman

Those who wish to go to the public meeting about the proposed Highthorn opencast mine are being asked to pre-register.

Due to the high level of interest in the application, and the capacity of the venue, the council is asking everyone who wishes to attend to register in advance.

The meeting will take place on Thursday, February 25, between 6pm and 8pm, at the Widdrington Station Community Centre, on Grange Road.

Those who wish to attend should email before Thursday, February 18, providing their name, address, email address and phone number. Or call 01670 622703.

Confirmation of your place will be sent after February 18. If the event is oversubscribed, preference will be given to local residents.

The public meeting is intended to provide officers and councillors with the opportunity to hear first-hand issues of local concern which may be relevant to consideration of the planning application. It is also to provide the local community with information about the planning application and the planning process.

Officers from Northumberland County Council will give a short presentation about the proposal, the planning process and the consultation responses so far.

The meeting will then be opened to questions from the public, which will be answered by representatives of the Banks Group and the council. Feedback from the public meeting will be considered as part of the planning application.

The planning application by the Banks Group is for development of a new surface mine to extract coal, sandstone and fireclay, with subsequent restoration to agricultural and ecological uses.

The target date for the application to be considered by the planning committee is currently June, although this is subject to change.