A proposed new mine in the north-east of England will go before a council, which will have the power to decide whether it can become a reality or not. Hargreaves Surface Mining has filed an application with Durham County Council in which it documents its intention to create a new opencast mine in countryside close to the outskirts of Durham City, reports the Northern Echo. If it is given the green light, it would aim to extract in the region of 514,000 tonnes of coal and as much as 83,000 tonnes of fireclay from land known as Field House. A spokeswoman for the council told the news source that elected members of the council will now decide whether to grant permission for the development. Overall, the firm is seeking permission to mine in the area for two years and three months, which would then be followed by several years of restoration work. No date has yet been set for the committee meeting at which the council will make a decision, but it is likely to be in a few months. Hargreaves Surface Mining has suggested that some 42 full-time jobs will be created at the new mine, while another 18 seasonal positions will be on offer. This will have a positive impact on the local economy and should trigger further opportunities for nearby businesses. The company is based in Durham and has been working on its plans for a mine at the site for several months. It has even hosted some consultation sessions in a bid to gauge public opinion on the matter. In its application, Hargreaves Surface Mining said through its agent Signet Planning that "significant weight should be attached to the national, local and community benefits that would flow from the scheme". This document went on to explain that there are likely to be substantial economic growth opportunities and these should outweigh the likely consequences of opening a mine in the area.
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