[N.B. Original page (24.07.16) updated 30.08.16 with response from Gavin Barwell MP (Minister of State for Housing and Planning) – see end of page.]
‘Has there been a worse environmental decision in modern British history?’
James Murray on the Druridge Bay opencast decision
On 5th July, Northumberland County Council approved Banks group’s application for the Highthorn opencast coal mine at Druridge Bay.
The Banks group will remove three million tonnes of coal, sandstone and fireclay and destroy an area of beauty that is important for wildlife and local tourism. Ten thousand people objected to the application.
The decision also runs counter to the government’s own climate policy. Last year, the government agreed to phase out coal-fired electricity generation by 2025 and signed up to the Paris Agreement, limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Shortly after the, application was approved the commentator, James Murray asked ‘Has there been a worse environmental decision in modern British history?’
There is clearly a dangerous contradiction between the UK’s planning and climate policies.
‘Save Druridge’ has produced a short campaign film. It explores the threats posed by open cast coal, the opportunities for renewable energy and includes footage of the Druridge Bay protest-picnic that took place two months ago. Highlights include speeches by Bill Oddie and Kirklees Green Group Leader Councillor Andrew Cooper.
Please ask your local MP to urge the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to call in the decision to allow opencast coal mining at Druridge Bay, and ensure that national planning policy is revised in line with UK energy policy and decarbonisation commitments?
MPs can do this either in writing or by supporting Early Day Motion 350.
Of course, the strongest messages are personalised but if you don’t have time, here are the pro-formas Kirklees Campaign against Climate Change has produced for copying and pasting into an email:
[Please only write to your MP and remember to include your address and postcode.
Please do not contact us with your details. Please contact MPs directly.
N.B. Different pro-forma have been written for Conservative and Labour MPs, referring to the views (about the Druridge Bay application) of, respectively, Conservative and Labour politicians. Kirklees pro-forma refer to a local dimension.]
Colne Valley constituents (Jason McCartney MP, Jason.firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dewsbury and Huddersfield constituents (Dewsbury, Paula Sherriff MP, email@example.com; Huddersfield, Barry Sheerman MP, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Last updated 19.09.16