UK Coal have lodged a planning application seeking consent to extract 2.2 million tonnes of coal from a 208ha site at Hoodsclose, near Whittonstall, in Northumberland. If the scheme is given the go-ahead by Northumberland County Council, up to 80 jobs would be created to recover the coal and some 500,000 tonnes of quality brickmaking fireclay over six-year nine-month period.
Coal extraction would be from 137ha with other areas required for offices and coal processing operations.
The coal earmarked for recovery is a combination of power station fuel and coking coal suitable for the steel industry, but equates in total to the annual energy needs of around 1.5 million homes.
Progressive restoration would be completed over a further nine-month period, including the planting of several miles of new hedgerow, the creation of 150 acres of new native species woodland, ponds and marshland, together with a 10-year nature conservation management programme.
In addition to a community fund of around £220,000, options for a major benefit project for Whittonstall are being considered.