Note by David Golding:
This moving and impressive statement to the Planning Enquiry was made by Mr John Ashton CBE, who served as Special Representative for Climate Change for three successive Foreign Secretaries in the Blair, Brown and Cameron Governments: Margaret Beckett (2006-7); David Miliband (2007-10) and William Hague (2010-12).
It is published here with permission.
The case against new opencast mining at Druridge Bay is overwhelming: indeed it is astonishing that the Highthorn proposal should have remained so long in play. If it were to go ahead it would undermine our national interest in relation to climate change and energy. It would damage the well-being and prospects of the communities into whose life it would intrude. And it would send an unwarranted message to the world that here in the northeast, we lack the vision and imagination to grasp the real opportunities in front of us, preferring instead to cling to an obsolete model of regional development that offers only an illusion of progress.
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