‘It has been life-changing’ – Campaigner’s joy after two-year fight against Newcastle coal mine plan

A relieved campaigner says the fight to cease a brand new coal mine from being dug on the outskirts of Newcastle has been “life-changing” and “actually overwhelming”.

The battle over plans for an opencast mine on greater than 250 acres of inexperienced belt land at Dewley Hill, close to Throckley, got here to a head final Friday – when metropolis planning chiefs unanimously rejected the controversial plans.

To have a good time their triumph, a handful of individuals from the Defend Dewley Hill motion group gathered for a socially distanced stroll on the magnificence spot on Saturday.

Jos Forester-Melville, who has led the native marketing campaign to safeguard the land for the previous two years, mentioned: “It was pretty – the climate was stunning and it confirmed the land in all its glory.

“It was so good to be there realizing that it will not be dug up. Everyone simply felt very collectively and pleased with the truth that we had achieved one thing large.”

The plans from the Banks Group and the neighbouring Throckley brickworks may have seen 800,000 tonnes of coal and 400,000 tonnes of fireclay extracted from the inexperienced house in a three-and-a-half-year operation.

Thousands of individuals objected to the proposal and Newcastle City Council’s planning committee firmly sided with council officers’ view that the mine can be “inappropriate” for the inexperienced belt and “can’t be thought-about ‘environmentally acceptable'”.

And whereas Banks may but launch an enchantment against the choice, the campaigners are completely happy to see the decision as an early Christmas current.

Jos, whose day job is with charity equal arts, walks the land repeatedly together with her kids and their canine.

She mentioned: “The factor that’s actually overwhelming about that is that the marketing campaign has been from bizarre individuals. Yes we have now been supported by all these different teams, however in Throckley it has been bizarre individuals who don’t have any historical past of campaigning or being activists.

“We simply linked over one thing that is massively essential to us. It could be very private to us, it has big which means.

“I’m knackered – this has been like a job for the previous two years as a result of it takes a lot effort to fight this stuff and do it correctly.

“It is a extremely huge deal to do it successfully and we have now put 100% into it. It really feels unusual that, in the interim, I haven’t got to do stuff every day for the marketing campaign.

“It grew to become so large and lots of people actually took it to their hearts.”

The 46-year-old mum-of-two discovered herself main the cost against the opencast mine, which was additionally met with opposition from organisations like Friends of the Earth, after listening to in regards to the plans and establishing a gathering at a local people corridor.

She added: “I anticipated six or seven individuals to return, however there have been effectively over 70. It was fairly overwhelming since you may sense the swell of frustration amongst individuals within the village.

“There have been clearly individuals who have been actually nervous however did not know what they might do about it.

“It has been life-changing. It has made me have a look at life otherwise and have a look at the world otherwise.”



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