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Inquiry on Cumbrian coal mine starts next week

Words: Laura Edgar
Investigation or inquiry / iStock-1126993468

The public inquiry into West Cumbria Mining’s Cumbria Metallurgical Coal Project will begin on Tuesday 7 September.

Communities secretary Robert Jenrick called in the application to be considered by his department in March 2021.

The mine, called Woodhouse Colliery, would be located on a brownfield site south-west of Whitehaven.

In October 2020, Cumbria County Council considered the application for a third time. It is thought that the £165 million scheme could create about 500 jobs.

The council’s approval of the scheme was criticised by environmental campaigners, while in January, Jenrick opted to not call in the application. The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) said that “wherever possible”, planning decisions should be made at a local level.

In February, the council announced that it would reconsider its approval of the underground mine in light of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) Sixth Carbon Budget (2033-2037), published in December 2020. On 5 March, West Cumbria Mining announced that it has lodged formal papers with the High Court to begin judicial review proceedings.

A letter written on behalf of Jenrick stated the reasons for calling in the application, including that it was a live legal case and that “this application raises planning issues of more than local importance”.

The inquiry will take place online.

Read more:

Council approves Cumbrian underground mine

UK must see a 78% fall in pollution emissions by 2035

SoS opts not to call in Cumbrian coal mine proposal

Council to rethink approval for Cumbrian coal mine 

Jenrick makes a U-turn on Cumbrian coal mine

Image credit | iStock