Jonathan Walker, North East England Chamber of Commerce’s assistant director of policy.
Jane Imrie

County Durham mine extension secures industry support ahead of planning decision

Plans for the extension of a County Durham mine have received support from the industrial and commercial sectors ahead of council consideration.

Banks Mining’s plans for a small extension to its Bradley surface mine has been backed by firms such as steel giant Tata Steel, international brickmaker Wienerberger and clay raw materials supplier Castle Claysales.

Covering 18.5 hectares of land off the A692 Pont Road near the western edge of the current Bradley site, the Bradley West extension will enable the firm to extract around 90,000 tonnes of coal for supply to UK industrial customers, along with 20,000 tonnes of fireclay.

In addition, the Bradley West site would provide continued employment for the 39 people currently working at the mine.

Jonathan Walker, the North East England Chamber of Commerce’s assistant director of policy, commented: “The Bradley West scheme…will bring economic benefits for the local communities and for the North East generally, as well as reducing the environmental impact of importing coal.

“Having the coal produced locally rather than imported from abroad would also…..create new jobs for the local community and support a local supply chain.”

The Bradley West planning application is set to be considered by Durham County Council tomorrow (Wednesday 1 July).

Lewis Stokes, community relations manager at The Banks Group, added: “Given the extraordinary public health, economic and employment challenges now facing the North East and the wider country, it makes greater sense than ever to meet UK industry’s continuing need for essential minerals like coal and fireclay from UK resources.

“Our highly-skilled team has been producing high-quality coal at Bradley for two years in the safest, most efficient and most responsible way possible.

“We hope the members of Durham County Council’s planning committee will recognise the many benefits of allowing us to greatly increase our investment in this project.”

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