Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Mining and green belt debate today

Hope to speak this afternoon in the debate in Westminster hall at 2.30 on the issue of open cast mining, the activities of various mining and property companies in Northumberland, the failure of Northumberland County Council to finish their minerals or local development plan and the need for a clear energy policy going forward. All that in 6-8 minutes, taking in the impact of Whittonstall, Halton Lea Gate and Shotton will not be easy. However, it is the first chance I have had to raise this issue since the August meeting with Halton Lea Gate residents following the surprising decision of the inspector on the planning application to build an open cast 57 metres from their back door. It is also very relevant given the forthcoming determination of the Whittonstall application in the spring by the County Council. Finally, I will be raising the issue as to why a decent company like Banks is electing to bulldoze across Ponteland green belt in a move that destroys their reputation locally. Sadly it is a shoddy attempt to cash in on the last piece of green belt, in circumstances where local peoples views and wants are being ignored. All this in circumstances where there is no housing need, and plenty of brown field and empty home sites locally to satisfy demand.