Tuesday, February 06, 2007

500 sign opencast online petition

The petition launched by Liberal Democrat campaigners in January calling of the government to reject the appeal over an application to opencast next to the historic Gibside Estate has been signed online by 500 people so far.

Over 300 signed online within 2 days of the launch as a result of the email bulletin circulated in January. Many thanks to everyone who has signed so far. The petition is also in our printed Focuses which are currently being delivered. Many signatures have already been received back by this method though we have not yet started to count them.

Nearly 200 people have posted comments about the application and these can now be read on the site (we have only put on people’s initials and the district postcode). To read them, follow the link below.

The petition will be delivered to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, currently Ruth Kelly. After a public inquiry expected later this year, she will take a final decision.

The petition calls for the appeal to be rejected. If the appeal is agreed, it will mean nearly half a million tonnes of coal and fireclay will be stripped from the site. 100 lorry movements in and out of the site would be permitted each day (Saturdays would be half the number and no working would take place on Sundays).

The lorries would then drive past Burnopfield and Byermoor and then through Marley Hill, Sunniside, Streetgate and Lobley Hill to get to the A1.

“Many thanks to everyone who has signed the petition,” said Councillor Jonathan Wallace. “We will keep everyone in touch with progress. Please encourage others to sign it as well.”

If you have not yet signed the petition on line, you can do so by clicking on the following link: http://campaigns.libdems.org.uk/skonsparkopencast.

If you haven’t already seen our video about the route the lorries will take if the application is approved, you can view it on the following link: Opencast Video
Photo: Councillor Jonathan Wallace takes the protest against the Skon's Park opencast proposals to Parliament.

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