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2020 / 2021 Edition

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Banks Mining appeal against surface mine decision

BANKS Mining have submitted an appeal against the rejection of their plans for a new surface mine development at Newton Lane, to the east of Ledston village in Leeds.

The company initially put forward proposals for the Newton Lane site to Leeds City Council at the end of 2006, but these were rejected by the Council’s planning committee in June 2009, despite being recommended for approval by the Council’s officers.

Banks are hoping to mine approximately 875,000 tonnes of coal over a three-and-a-half-year period from the site, creating around 40 local jobs in the process, as well as supporting many others in local supply chain businesses.

Once mining is completed, full restoration of the site would lead to the creation of new footpaths and bridleways, new wetland adjacent to the RSPB’s Fairburn Ings Nature Reserve, and ecological and habitat improvements through an extension to Capon Hill Wood.

No objections were received from any of the statutory consultees on the original proposal, which included DEFRA, English Heritage, the Environment Agency, Natural England, the RSPB and West Yorkshire Archaeology.

David Gosling, senior development planner at The Banks Group, said: ‘We feel the reasons given for this rejection do not stand up to robust examination, and remain absolutely certain that the Newton Lane site can be worked in an environmentally acceptable manner.

‘Banks have a highly successful track record of operating surface mines both locally and nationally, a fact recognized by the Council officers and some members of the planning committee during the original hearing, and we believe we have an extremely strong case to make for this proposal, which we hope the Secretary of State will recognize and accept.’

The appeal is expected to be heard later this year, with a decision to follow before the end of the year.

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