Coal mine decision delayed again
A decision on whether or not to grant planning permission for a controversial new coal mine in Cumbria has been further delayed until “on or before 8 November 2022”.
Friends of the Earth received a letter from the government confirming the delay earlier this evening.
Commenting, Victoria Marsom of Friends of the Earth, said:
“The case against this coal mine is overwhelming regardless of how many times the decision is delayed.
“The UK and European market for coking coal is set to rapidly diminish as manufacturers switch to greener steel, while coal from this mine won’t replace Russian imports. However, this new mine will increase carbon emissions, with the government’s climate watchdog describing it as “absolutely indefensible”.
“Fossil fuels cause enormous damage to both our environment and economy. Areas like Cumbria should be at the heart of building the greener future we need, so they can reap the benefits of the new jobs and opportunities this would bring.”
Notes to editors
- The letter to Friends of the Earth from the Department of Levelling Up, Communities and Housing says:
10 August 2022 TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING ACT 1990 – SECTION 77 APPLICATION MADE BY WEST CUMBRIA MINING LTD LAND AT FORMER MARCHON SITE, POW BECK VALLEY AND AREA FROM THE FORMER MARCHON SITE TO THE ST BEES COAST, WHITEHAVEN, CUMBRIA APPLICATION REF: 4/17/9007
1. Planning Ministers are considering the report of the Inspector, Stephen Normington BSc DipTP MRICS MRTPI FIQ FIHE, who held a public local inquiry from 7 September 2021 into the above planning application.
2. You were notified on 7 July 2022 that further time was required to consider this case and that a decision would be issued on or before 17 August 2022.
3. This is a complex matter and officials are not yet in a position to complete their considerations prior to providing advice to Ministers. In these circumstances, given the imminent decision date, an additional period of time is required. Planning Ministers will therefore not be in a position to reach a decision on this application by the previously notified date.
4. As a consequence, in the exercise of the power conferred on him by paragraph 6(2) of Schedule 2 to the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, the Secretary of State hereby gives notice that he has varied the timetable previously set and he will now issue his decision on or before 8 November 2022. We aim to issue the decision as quickly as possible. Yours faithfully
- Cumbrian coal mine: Why the government must say no | Friends of the Earth press release.