Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Whittonstall open cast coal mine application withdrawn - notified just now by email

I have returned from PMQs to receive the following email sent to local councillors:

Dear Sir/Madam

Please note that the above meeting [on 19/6/14] which was scheduled to consider the proposed Hoodsclose Surface Mine, Newlands, Stocksfield, Northumberland has been cancelled as the applicant has withdrawn the application.

Lesley Little,
Democratic Services Officer

I have asked for urgent clarification as to whether this is a permanent withdrawal or yet another false dawn / delay by the applicant. The results of the public meeting held in Snods Edge, that I went to and spoke at, the many meetings I have held with local people and the respective parish councils since 2009, and the representations I have received, shows that the local community is resolutely opposed to this Open Cast Coal Mine.
Update: I have received this from the wonderful Kay FitzGibbon who has done so much to fight and make this campaign what it was:
"we can only surmise that they [UK Coal] withdrew because they believe the planning application would be refused by the councillors, which suggests the planning officers report was very clearly recommending refusal. We have not seen the officers recommendation, and never will now, so can only speculate as to its content. We won't get 'our day in court' but are confident that all our efforts in laying out a clear case against the application contributed to the outcome we all wanted to see."

Update 2: I am also told second hand that there is no way for this application to be reinstated now. A new planning application would be required.