Newcastle brickworks warns of ‘devastating blow’ if Dewley Hill opencast coal mine plans rejected

Rejection of plans for an opencast mine on the outskirts of Newcastle can be “a devastating blow” for a close-by brickmaker.

Joe Hudson, chief govt officer of Ibstock Brick, has urged councillors to assist proposals for the Banks Group’s floor mine at Dewley Hill forward of a listening to later this week.

Newcastle City Council’s planning committee will meet on Friday morning to resolve whether or not or not the massively controversial mine can go forward, and metropolis planners have suggested that it must be refused permission because it “can’t be thought of ‘environmentally acceptable'”.

But Mr Hudson has warned that rejection can be deeply damaging to the close by Throckley Brickworks, which may gain advantage from round 400,000 tonnes of fireclay that might be extracted from the inexperienced belt land alongside 800,000 tonnes of coal.

He stated that the enterprise can be left with no safe provide of a fabric “important” to its brickmaking, as there aren’t any different websites within the North East that can be utilized as a supply of fireclay since mining completed at Banks’ web site in Shotton.

More than 5,000 objection letters have been lodged in opposition to the Dewley Hill plans, plus a petition with 18,953 signatures, with opponents saying approving the mine can be an “unforgivable smear on a metropolis praised for its environmental credentials”.

But Ibstock, which has made the appliance for the Dewley Hill web site collectively with Banks, has urged the council to consider the long run of a brickworks which is just some hundred yards from the potential mining web site.

Mr Hudson stated: “Our brickworks at Throckley is the biggest producer of fireclay-based bricks within the UK and has a product vary which could be seen on many iconic buildings, each within the North East and nationally.

“Dewley Hill gives an vital alternative to make sure that a necessary uncooked materials required by the Throckley Brickworks is sourced regionally and transported in ways in which minimise emissions of greenhouse gases.

“If Dewley Hill is rejected, this might be a devastating blow for our brickworks in phrases of manufacturing, native employment and funding, in addition to having a significant influence on our locally-based suppliers and hauliers.”

The fireclay extracted from Dewley Hill may present a 10-year provide for Ibstock’s Throckley operations, the place 47 persons are employed.

Mr Hudson added: “Given the Throckley Brickworks’ acute want for fireclay in addition to the particular native circumstances of this software, we strongly urge…councillors to approve this software as refusal of permission would go away it with no safe provide of a uncooked materials important to its future operation.”

In their report for Friday’s committee listening to, metropolis planners say that the mining operation can be “of nice profit” to the brickworks and that it could be “impracticable and unsustainable” to extract the fireclay itself with out additionally eradicating the coal reserves.

However, they conclude that the environmental harm attributable to an opencast mine outweighs any financial increase.

The report states: “The advantages, together with to the native and nationwide economic system and particularly the nice profit within the provide of fireclay to Throckey Brickworks, and that arising from the long-term restoration of the location, are recognised and given weight. However, these advantages don’t clearly outweigh the environmental hurt recognized as a direct end result of the event to the realm’s panorama, its visible influence and ecological worth.”

Banks has already suffered two blows for its coal mining operations within the North East this 12 months – dropping bids to increase its Bradley mine in County Durham and arrange an opencast web site close to Druridge Bay in Northumberland.

Jos Forester-Melville, of the Defend Dewley Hill motion group, stated that campaigners maintain “nice hope” that councillors will flip down the agency’s newest software on Friday.

She added: “The solely reply on December 18 must be that Newcastle City Council refuse planning permission and that opencast is a factor of the previous.”



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