Local Councillor Welcomes Dewley Hill Planning Decision
Newcastle Independents Deputy Leader and Councillor for Callerton and Throckley Ward, Ian Donaldson, has welcomed the decision of Newcastle City Council’s Planning Committee to follow the advice of planning officers and reject plans for an open cast mine on the outskirts of Throckley.
Cllr Donaldson said: “Shortly after I was elected, I visited the Banks operation to hear first hand how they will manage the Dewley Hill site and, while I was reassured about some aspects of the plans, I believe the open cast mine will have a substantial impact on people living in Throckey, Callerton, Walbottle and surrounding areas.
Ian Donaldson has highlighted the financial advantage that Banks had compared to local residents. To generate comments in support of the planning application in the summer, Banks ran paid adverts on social media using slick videos to appeal to over 30s living in Newcastle and get them to write in support of the mine at least one of which was aimed at people interested in Labour. Was this so Labour members would put pressure on Labour councillors to accept the destruction of our greenbelt?
Meanwhile, the local community campaign has struggled with very limited funds to put leaflets through doors and had to rely on organic social media posts to reach beyond the immediate area affected. Had the local community had the same resources as Banks, we expect that many more objections to the planning application would have been received.
Ian added: “This has been a real David v Golliath Battle with Banks Group out-spending local residents to generate support for the planning application. I am immensely proud of the hard working residents who have campaigned tirelessly to bring the issue to the attention of people who will be affected if this open cast mine is given the go ahead.
“The Planning Committee has given Throckley residents an early Christmas present by rejecting the planning application.”
Jason Smith, chair of Newcastle Independents, said: “If it was approved, the proposed open cast mine would have had a significant impact on much of the Outer West of Newcastle including high levels of dust, noise and congestion.
“Cllr Ian Donaldson, the local MP, one of the Labour councillors in Callerton and Throckley and all of the independent councillors in Chapel objected to the Dewley Hill mine but I am disappointed that one of the Labour councillors in Callerton and Throckley, as well as the Lemington and Denton and Westerhope Labour councillors, did not appear to have objected to the proposed mine.
“The Defend Dewley Hill campaign group has worked tirelessly on behalf of local residents and this first victory in the long struggle against the open cast mine is very much deserved. Jude Campbell and Linda Wright gave excellent presentations to the Planning Committee on behalf of the local community.”