Coal mining

Company welcomes continuing council support for coal mine

The firm behind plans for a new coal mine near Whitehaven has welcomed news that Cumbria county councillors have confirmed their support for the scheme.

The council's development control committee had reviewed the scheme after a letter from solicitors for objectors, but today voted not to change their decision.

West Cumbria Mining said: "[We] are pleased that the original unanimous planning approval received for the project has been ratified today by the Development Control Committee of Cumbria County Council.

"We now look forward to the Secretary of State, Robert Jenrick, rejecting the call-in request by Lake District MP, Tim Farron, in order to now move this project into its construction and delivery stage."

Councillors stand by Whitehaven coal mine decision

Councillors in Cumbria have voted to uphold their decision to allow a new coal mine to be dug near Whitehaven.

They had given thumbs up to planning permission in March, but reconsidered it in the light of a letter from solicitors acting for one of the campaign groups objecting to the mine.

Artist's impression of coal mine buildings
West Cumbria Mining

Councillors and other politicians such as the Mayor of Copeland, Mike Starkie, have defended the scheme on the grounds that coal is still required to make steel, and that currently that coal is imported.

But objectors say the mine would produce more than 2m tonnes of coal a year, and burning much carbon-based fuel is unacceptable because of the effects on the wold's climates.

The mine cannot be given final consent until the Secretary of State, Robert Jenrick has decided whether or not to "call in" the application, possibly for a public planning inquiry.

Farron presents petition against coal mine to Parliament

The Government is being urged again to intervene in plans for a new coal mine in West Cumbria by the Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron.

The plans for the mine near Whitehaven to provide coking coal for the steel industry are currently awaiting a decision by the Environment secretary on whether they should go to an independent planning inquiry

Tim Farron in House

The MP said more than 1,800 people had signed his petition, which says the mine shouldn't be allowed to open because of the impact it could have on the climate.

However, the Liberal Democrat has been told to "butt out" of West Cumbria by Copeland's Independent Mayor Mike Starkie.

Coal mine plan goes back before councillors 'for prudence'

Local Democracy Reporting Service

John Connell

Cumbrian councillors look set to “ratify” their original decision to grant permission for a £165m coal mine at Whitehaven, following a legal challenge.

West Cumbria Mining wants to extract coking coal off the coast of St Bees, with a processing plant on the former Marchon site at Kells given the go-ahead in March.

Artists' impression of coal mine
West Cumbria Mining

But the authority’s development control committee tomorrow has been asked to look again at the controversial plans “as a matter of prudence”, after solicitors, acting on behalf of an environmental campaign group, Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole, wrote to the county council earlier this year.

The decision is also on hold because the matter's been "called in" by the government, which means no final verdict can be given until the secretary of state has decided whether or not there should be a planning inquiry.

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