A near thing

News in Brief

In June, protesters in County Durham prevented construction of an access road to a planned opencast coal mine near Dipton. The Campaign to Protect Pont Valley argued that this meant the Bradley mine could not go ahead. The council said the access road was not a condition of planning permission, but a separate agreement.

Despite huge efforts, including lock-on blockades in Newcastle and Bradley, campaigners did not succeed in preventing contractor Banks Mining from breaking ground at the mine by the deadline of 3 June, which was definitely a necessary condition for planning permission. Banks claimed ground was broken on 1 June.