Stop the Mine!

Just when we thought the UK was finally moving away from coal, up pops West Cumbria Mining (WCM) with their proposal for a new mine at Woodhouse Colliery, Whitehaven, Cumbria. They plan to extract 2.43 million tonnes of coking coal per year and 0.35 million tonnes of middlings coal every year for 50 years. When used, this would emit around 420 million tonnes CO2 equivalent. This figure excludes emissions arising from the extraction process itself.

In this Climate Emergency we can permit no new fossil fuel extraction, whether for metallurgical or thermal use.

Timeline so far:

  • 31st May 2017: Original planning application lodged with Cumbria County Council (CCC) by West Cumbria Mining (WCM)
  • 10th December 2018: WCM submit a variation to the application.
  • 19th March 2019: Cumbria County Council (CCC) granted permission for the land-based portion of the development (unanimous decision).
  • October 2019: CCC decision was ratified
  • November 2019: Secretary of State (for Housing, Communities and Local government – SoS) decides not to ‘call-in’ CCC’s decision
  • 12th December 2019: “Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole” (Marianne Bennett) file application for Judicial Review of CCC’s decision.
  • 6th May 2020: WCM submit revised planning documents to CCC
  • 2nd October 2020: CCC once again grants planning permission, although no longer unanimous. However Robert Jenrick, (Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local government) intervenes: The decision may not be ratified until he has decided whether or not to ‘call in’ the decision
  • Current position (as at 15/11/20): The mine may not proceed until Robert Jenrick has decided whether or not to ‘call in’ the planning application. We currently have no indication of when this decision might take place, so please do keep the pressure on Mr Jenrick.

Why the coal mine is such a bad idea: