Controversial plans to opencast 2m tonnes of coal at a former pit village in Northumberland have been approved.
UK Coal wants to open the mine in Ashington creating 60 jobs, but protesters believe it will spoil the environment and be noisy and dusty.
Despite the protests, Northumberland County Council agreed to the planning application on Tuesday.
UK Coal wants to mine at the site in Potland Burn, which is mainly woodland and grassland, over six years.
The company first submitted plans for the pit in 2005.
Last year the government overruled the refusal of plans to have an opencast mine in Shotton, near Cramlington, and the county council did not want to face a similar challenge by turning down the proposals for Ashington.
David Nicholson, chairman of the Wansbeck Initiative, is against the mine.
He said: "The mine's total working life is going to be six years, but it doesn't bring new jobs.
"What it does is get in the way of attracting jobs and creating industry."
Plans to allow opencast mining in Ashington have brought an angry response from some locals.
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