The UK government has rejected plans to develop an “environmentally unacceptable” coalmine near Druridge Bay in Northumberland after years of fierce opposition from environmentalists. The ministry of housing, communities and local government refused planning permission for the project for a second time, saying the plans for a new open-cast mine in north-east England were “not environmentally acceptable”. The decision brings an end to an almost five-year battle between environmental campaigners and the Banks Group, a Durham-based infrastructure firm, which hoped to extract millions of tonnes of coal for Britain’s steel and cement industries. Tony Bosworth, a climate campaigner with Friends of the Earth, described the decision as “fantastic news for our environment, and a tremendous victory for local campaigners”. “Coalmines must be consigned to the history books if we are going to avoid climate breakdown,” he said. “Let’s leave coal in the ground where it belongs, and invest in energy-saving and renewable power to build the safe, clean and fairer future we so urgently need.” Bosworth said the Banks Group should “walk away” from Druridge Bay and “abandon plans for any more new mines”. A source close to the company said it was “highly unlikely” it would appeal against […]

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