Former Great British Pub Awards winner continues fight against coal mine

By Helen Gilbert

- Last updated on GMT

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An award-winning Northumberland licensee has told how delays by a local council to consider plans for an open-cast coal mine four miles from her pub will give her extra time to generate support against the proposals.

Helen Greer, of the PMA’s former Great British Pub of the Year the Feathers Inn, in Hedley-on-the-Hill, said a decision by Northumberland County Council to
defer the planning application meeting from April until the summer would allow the pub to carry out further campaigning.

Greer had previously voiced concerns that the coal-mine proposals could destroy her business and potentially kill the region off as a tourist destination.
UK Coal submitted a planning application in November 2010 to extract 2.2 million tonnes of coal from the proposed site at nearby Whittonstall.

The plans were expected to be considered by the planning and environment committee on 2 April, but a council spokeswoman told the PMA the application “would not be considered until at least 4 June”.

Greer admitted the proposals were “hanging” over her but said she was channelling her efforts into putting up a fight.

“We’re putting a business case together as part of the objection,” she said. “Whittonstall Action Group is doing the business case and we’re providing
the information about how our business will be affected.

“It is also using [information] from other businesses in the area — a farm, café and visitors’ centre.”

Greer welcomed the support from local people but reiterated that letters opposing the move have to be submitted by individuals if they are to be considered as single objections by the council.

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