UK Coal launches legal challenge over Leadgate mine

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A legal challenge has been launched against the refusal to grant permission for an opencast mine in County Durham.

UK Coal has made an application to the High Court in London to overturn a decision not to sanction the project near Leadgate, Consett.

Durham County Council rejected the proposal to extract 556,000 tonnes of coal in 2011 and its stance was later upheld by a planning inspector.

Opponents have described the legal challenge as "desperate".

Timothy Corner QC, representing UK Coal, said the planning inspector had misunderstood government advice and described the decision as "unreasonable and perverse".

Eleanor Baylis, a member of the Coal Action Network, said the company had not listened to local people.

She said: "UK Coal need to realise that what the local community says matters."

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