19:55 24 October 2016
Campaigners are fighting to stop Banks Mining from removing three million tonnes of coal from a greenfield site at Druridge Bay on the North East Coast. Environmentalists said that unless the company is stopped, it could spell the end of the industry in the UK.
A public inquiry has already been ordered by the Government after the scheme was unanimously approved by Northumberland Council in July. Next year, the ministers will make a final decision on the issue.
The organisation's spokesman Guy Shrubsole said: "It's very welcome that for the first time ever the Government has called in a coal mine on climate change grounds.
"And this means there's going to be a public inquiry next year which could set up conditions for the end of coal in the UK."
He added: "It's certainly the case that the Government needs to get on with phasing out coal power stations as it's already committed to doing.
"We understand it's going to be launching a consultation on this soon but it's also the case that if you're going to stop burning the coal there's no need to dig it up as well."
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