Dewley Hill
Dewley Hill

Newcastle Labour welcomes Planning decision on Dewley Hill

The application to opencast mine at the site in the city has stoked strong emotions on both sides, and even protests.

Newcastle Labour party has welcomed the decision by Newcastle City Council Planning Committee not to grant permission to Banks for an opencast mine at Dewley Hill.   The Labour Party in the City  are pleased that the committee followed the recommendations of the planners who had looked very carefully at the likely impacts of the development both good and bad.  In the 2019 Labour  Local Manifesto they pledged to Declare a Climate Emergency, set a route path to Net Zero by 2030 and to actively discourage the extraction and use of fossil fuels in the city for energy production. The decision has contributed to the enactment of these pledges.

The aim is to promote the importance of protecting  greenbelt land and its biodiversity. Had this application been approved there would have been long lasting damage impacting on the area, the wildlife and the biodiversity.  A price no one would want to pay.

The Labour Party understands and regrets the loss of jobs, the recession from Covid will mean we need every job we can get but this cannot be at any cost.  No job is worth the destruction of our environment. Newcastle Labour are planning for a Green economic recovery where the city builds forward better and creates green jobs ready for the future.

Cllr Nick Forbes, Labour Leader of Newcastle City Council said

“I welcome this decision. The time for mining in our city is over.  Coal is our history, not our future.  Newcastle was built on coal, and it is hugely symbolic that we have committed ourselves to renewable and sustainable energy sources in the future. This is real leadership on climate change.

“There is no return to business as usual.  We have a proud heritage of innovation, industry and collaboration. In the past we have delivered world-class engineering solutions to address the challenges of their time and successfully achieved economic growth and prosperity for the city. We must now draw on our city-wide world leading expertise and resources to be the example of a post-industrial city that has mitigated its own emissions, adapted to climate change, prepared for a rapidly changing economy and deliver our Net Zero vision for the city. We look forward to COP26 to showcase our plans and show the world that Newcastle is a Climate Leader.”

Cllr Clare Penny-Evans, Labour Cabinet Member for Climate Change on Newcastle City Council said

 ‘’ I’m pleased to hear of this decision today.  Agreeing this application would have been a backward step in our journey to Net Zero and decarbonisation. This pandemic has shown us how important our green spaces are and its vital we protect them.  We need to enhance not destroy our green infrastructure, trees and landscaping, biodiversity and habitats. We are proud of our recent award by CDP of being Climate Leaders, one of only four cities in the UK to achieve this.  We are committed to our declaration of a climate emergency and our net zero action plan sets us on a target to Net zero twenty years ahead of the Government.  In fact, in Newcastle, we are one of the first Cities in the world to have three of our big anchor institutions not only declaring a climate emergency but are producing clear action plans on how they will reach Net Zero.  We are together rapidly putting plans into action ahead of COP26 next year. “

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