The Secretary of State has today issued his decision on the application by Banks Ltd for permission for an open cast coal mine at Druridge Bay, Northumberland. The application had been called in, following Northumberland Council’s decision in favour of the scheme.
Rejecting the recommendation of his Inspector, the Secretary of State concluded that the national, local and community benefits of the proposal would not clearly outweigh the likely adverse impacts such as to justify the grant of planning permission. In particular, he attached “considerable negative weight” to the harm to the landscape character of the area, and “considerable adverse weight” to the negative impact on greenhouse gases and climate change. The application therefore failed to comply with para 149 of the NPPF and was contrary to para 109.
Paul Brown QC and Toby Fisher appeared (pro bono) for Friends of the Earth at the four week long inquiry in May and June 2017.
A copy of the decision letter and the Inspector’s report can be found here.