(updated August 2012)

Over the hill but NOT far away – the spectre of the opencast development by UK Coal Ltd looms

Nearly one hundred residents of Whittonstall, Hedley and Stocksfield attended a public meeting on Saturday 7 July to discuss the considerable impact the Hoodsclose opencast development by UK Coal Ltd could have on the whole area. The scale of the mining operation – to extract over 2 million tons of coal and fireclay as well as 38 million tons of rock - will have far-reaching consequences for local people. It was stated at the meeting, based on evidence gathered from surveys of local businesses and residents that over 90% are opposed to the development. It was further emphasised that the voice of the local community could play a significant part, and is pivotal to any decision-making. Concerns were raised about health and safety; the inevitable noise from blasting; pollution; the irrevocable damage to the environment and landscape and the increased flow of traffic to and from the site, for the most part heavy goods vehicles and service vans and trucks. Stocksfield would without doubt be one of those areas to be affected adversely. It is also likely that were the scheme allowed to go ahead that further coal mining applications close to Stocksfield would ensue. Based upon the advice contained on the Whittonstall Action Group website, www.whittonstallactiongroup.co.uk (pleasee not that this website no longer exists as of Jan 2017) residents are encouraged to send in letters of objection as a matter of urgency. These letters should be addressed to: Frances Wilkinson, Senior Planning Officer, Central Planning Office, County Hall, Morpeth, NE61 2EF or via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.