Approved – 21 October 2009


Plans for a new surface mine on the border between Newcastle and Northumberland have been unanimously approved by the two local authorities.

The County Durham-based Banks Group put forward the plans for Brenkley Lane scheme to the south of its existing Delhi site on the Blagdon Estate near Seaton Burn in Northumberland.

Around 2.4m tonnes of high quality coal and 200,000 tonnes of fireclay will  now be mined over a period of up to 11 years, with around 40 people working on the 130-hectare site.
The Brenkley Lane scheme has been designed to enable the use of the existing Delhi site compound, facilities and overburden mound, thus maximising recovery of coal whilst also minimising visual and environmental impact.
An underpass will be created underneath Ponteland Road, which divides the Delhi and Brenkley Lane sites, thus removing the need for mining plant to cross the road. Preparatory work on site is expected to start next year.
Mark Dowdall, Environment and Community Director at the Banks Group, says: “We are naturally very pleased that both Newcastle City Council and Northumberland County Council have resolved to grant planning permission for our Brenkley Lane site.

“We believe these decisions recognise the important role that coal has to play in meeting the UK’s energy requirements for the foreseeable future, and also the mining industry’s continuing contribution to the economy of North East England.

“This scheme will directly employ more than 40 people, as well as supporting many other jobs in local supply chain businesses, and it has also been specifically designed to use the existing compound, facilities and overburden mound of the adjacent Delhi site to maximise recovery of coal whilst also minimising visual and environmental impact.

“The Banks ‘Development with Care’ approach means that we are committed to ensuring that the Brenkley Lane surface mine is operated to the very highest environmental standards.

“We have maintained good relationships with the residents of Dinnington, Brenkley and Stannington  for many years, and will continue to work closely with local communities throughout the life of this project to ensure these relationships are further strengthened.”
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Notes to editors
The Banks Group was founded in 1976 in County Durham.  It now employs 350 people across offices in West Cornforth, Tow Law, Hamilton and Chesterfield.  It specialises in major projects in the renewable energy, property, surface coal mining and waste management sectors.

Banks’ ‘Development With Care’ approach ensures sites are developed in close consultation with the community as well as carrying out extensive environmental assessments.