Friday, September 16, 2011

Opencast campaign goes on-line

A campaign fighting to stop plans for an opencast mine has gone on-line to reach more people.

Gateshead Council will decide in October whether or not to accept an application by Halls Construction to opencast 225,000 tonnes of coal from Birklands, near Kibblesworth.

A group has been set up to fight the plans and Liberal Democrat Councillor, Jonathan Wallace, has been helping the campaign to have the application rejected.

Cllr Wallace led the campaign against the plans by Halls Construction six years ago to opencast over 400,000 tonnes of coal at Skons Park, near Whickham.

“We have gone on-line to be able to reach more people,” said Cllr Wallace. “The site has already been visited by hundreds of people and many have signed the petition against the plans on-line.

“If this application goes ahead, we are very concerned about the impact on villages such as Kibblesworth, Lamesley, Marley Hill and Sunniside. We are also concerned that this application could create a precedent for more applications in our local countryside if it is allowed to go ahead.
“Many local people have signed the petition but there has been interest from across the country as well.

“Gateshead’s countryside is a great resource for our area. There is a growing tourist industry as well. Tourism and opencast mining do not mix. People understand that which is why many people have backed the petition.”

The campaign website is

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