England: Last Chance For Say on Controversial New Coal Mine in Cumbria
June 8, 2020 - Residents of Cumbria are being invited to have their say on a new coal mine which see the extraction of coal for steel production.
Cumbria County Council are inviting comments on the planning application put forward by West Cumbria Mining in June 2017 to create an underground metallurgical coal mine.
The £165m development just off the coast near Whitehaven will create job opportunities with WCM promising to employ a direct workforce of around 500 people.
The company aims to fill eighty per cent of the job roles with people who live within a twenty mile radius of the mine site including with apprenticeships.
It forecasts more than 1,500 indirect jobs will be created through the local supply chain.
In response to the planning application, local council St Bee's Parish Council in January 2017 said: "The Parish Council fully supports the plan to develop a new mine and believes that the development will bring much-needed economic benefits to the area. The mine will provide much-needed long term employment and training opportunities, both directly in the mining company itself and indirectly through the local supply chain."
The plans were unanimously approved by local councillors in March of last year favouring job prospects over climate change concerns.
This sparked protests however by environmental campaigners who see this decision as going in the wrong direction in terms of the climate change crisis.
Environmental action group South Lakes Action on Climate Change (SLACC) is one of many groups still strongly opposed to the application.
A statement on SLACC's website said: "The proposed mine would extract 2.78 million tonnes of coking coal every year until 2070. We remain convinced that it is not compatible with the steep reduction in greenhouse gas emissions needed to avoid catastrophic climate change, and would be incompatible with UK Government’s (legally binding) commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement.
"We also do not believe the coking coal from the development is essential for the continuation of the UK Steel industry during its transition to a decarbonised and sustainable future. "
To have your say on the application, please visit here.
Alternatively, use Application Ref No: 4/17/9007, search for 'West Cumbria Mining' and then click on 'Comment on this application'.
Deadline to submit comments on the planning application is Monday June 15.