What a Week!

 

What a Week!!

Channel 4 skewers the Mayor, the MP and the Council bosses, Elijah gets his visit to the House, and the High Court says that there is a case to answer!

Well done everyone for getting this legal challenge off the starting blocks. Onwards and Upwards!!

Below is Leigh Day’s Press Release … you can also read it direct on their website 

 

We have been Granted Permission for Judicial Review! Well Done Everyone!!!

Dear Friends

Brilliant news we have just heard that we have been granted permission for a judicial review of Cumbria County Council’s decision to allow the first deep coal mine in 30 years in the UK to be built.

Well done everyone for getting this challenge off the starting blocks. Onwards and Upwards!!

Below is Leigh Day’s Press Release … you can read it direct on their website 

 

6 February 2020

Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole (KCCH), are challenging Cumbria County Council’s Development Control and Regulation Committee’s decision to resolve to grant planning permission for a major new underground metallurgical coal mine on the former Marchon Chemical Works site in Whitehaven, Cumbria. The judicial review will be heard at the High Court in Manchester on a date yet to be set.

KCCH is an active environmental campaign group in the local area, and was one of the leading objectors to the planning application focussing its objections on the proximity of the coal mine site to the nuclear facility at Sellafield.

Cumbria County Council resolved to grant planning permission following a unanimous vote on 19 March 2019. On 20 June 2019, Leigh Day wrote to Cumbria County Council. The letter addressed a number of legal issues, including Cumbria County Council’s failures to consider:

  • Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the mining operations
  • The need for, and GHG impacts of, Middlings Coal
  • The Government’s Net Zero target.

Despite being alerted to those concerns, Cumbria County Council ratified its decision on 31 October 2019. Mrs Justice Beverley Lang has now agreed that those legal issues are arguable and justify a public hearing.

Marianne Birkby from KCCH, said:

“Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole are delighted we are able to bring this Judicial Review in order to challenge the decision made by Cumbria County Council to approve the first deep coal mine in decades. This legal challenge is only happening because of the ongoing determination of our campaigning and the huge generosity of everyone who has donated to the crowd-funder.”

Rowan Smith, solicitor at law firm Leigh Day, who is representing Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole, with Anna Dews and Carol Day from Leigh Day, said:

“We are pleased that the High Court has granted our client permission for a judicial review of Cumbria County Council’s decision to allow this coal mine development. This legal action shines a light on how all local planning authorities should assess the climate change impacts of development of this nature, particularly with the backdrop of the UK Parliament declaring a climate emergency and the Government’s commitment to ensuring that the Net Zero target is reached by 2050.

“We are in the middle of a climate crisis, and our clients have worked tirelessly to bring this issue into the public domain. There will now be full legal scrutiny of the climate change impact of this proposal, which is estimated to translate to 420 million tonnes CO₂e even without taking into account the emissions arising from the extraction process.”

David Wolfe QC from Matrix chambers and Merrow Golden from Francis Taylor Building chambers are instructed.

In the News…

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Dear Friends,

Thank you to all who are donating and sharing in order that we can challenge the outrageous decision by Cumbria County Council to approve the first deep coal mine in decades.

In case  you missed the Channel 4 programme this evening – here is a link to the page.  

Will update soon with news of the legal challenge

All best wishes

Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole

The Dragon Stone, St Mary And St Bega’s Church, St Bees, Cumbria

Interesting history of the place where the first deep coal mine in the UK is planned under the Irish Sea…..Oh aye there be dragons all right!

The Journal Of Antiquities

View of St Bees priory church, Cumbria, by Samuel & Nathaniel Buck (1739) Wikipedia.

OS Grid Reference: NX 9685 1210. In an alcove of the churchyard wall of St Mary & St Bega’s church at St Bees, Cumbria, is a huge carved stone lintel, which was thought to date back to the 8th century AD? The stone has a very beautiful, but also quite curious, Anglo Saxon carving of a dragon being killed by St Michael the Archangel, and not St George – as was usually the case! Below this lintel stone is a carved Medieval cross. The stone, which is called ‘The Dragon Stone’ for obvious reasons, is also known as ‘The Beowulf Stone’. Inside the parish church, which has grown out of the ruins of the near-complete priory nave, are more interesting carved gravestones and crosses. The Benedictine priory was dissolved in 1538. St Bega (Bee) was a Legendary 7th century Irish princess who came here in order to avoid an unwanted…

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Injustice Piled on Injustice…

Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole are so impressed by Elijah’s dedication and passion but we do not condone this kind of self harm especially in such young folk.  We feel so strongly and passionately not only for the injustice of the mine but also the injustice of the overwhelming silence surrounding this mine for so long .  The silence was not from us – we have been shouting about this diabolic plan since 2017 and we continue to vigorously challenge this plan through campaigning, for example the Marine Management Organisation still need to give this mine a license and through legal means.

Please Elijah – do not injure yourself – you are precious and there are other means to fight this.

Tweet to Elijah M

 

 

 

 

“Incompatible” (Yes and Much more besides ..)

 

A new report by the Green Alliance (these interviews Jan 17, 2020) says West Cumbria’s new mine will emit the equivalent of a million homes worth of carbon and is incompatible with UK climate ambition.

This report is welcome (if a tad late) and it reiterates some of what Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole have been saying about this coal mine since 2017.

The report of course does not detail the impacts that this mine could have on nearby Sellafield – the most dangerous nuclear waste site in the world.  It is a very welcome report nevertheless and well worth reading.

EXTRACT below

“Jobs and carbon

“West Cumbria Mining estimates that around 518 jobs will be created (of which 80 per cent will be within 20 miles of Whitehaven). Using the company’s breakdown of job types and industry standard salaries, it is possible to estimate the annual salary remuneration for the entire workforce, including management, at £11.8 million per year. 35 This is less than three per cent (2.87 per cent) of the commodity value of the coal that would be extracted, which we estimate to be £411 million per year, using commodity prices for coking and middling coal.36 The carbon emissions would be around 16,000 tonnes CO2e per year per job for the lifetime of the mine. This compares with under seven tonnes of CO2e emissions per person per year in the UK at present, a figure which must fall to net zero by 2050.37 The carbon footprint of the salaries paid would be almost three quarters of a tonne of CO2 per £1 earned by the workforce (700kg CO2e per £).”

PDF of the report here 

“Incompatible” Coal Mine : Bravo to the authors of New Report..

 

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Bravo to the authors of a new report which concludes that the Cumbrian coal mine is incompatible with the UK’s climate ambition.

“The proposed mine is clearly incompatible with the UK’s climate ambitions and the need for a clean energy future,” said Rebecca Willis, co-author of the report, in a statement. “The new government has championed its commitment to climate action. It now needs to set out its policy on fossil fuel extraction, making clear that digging more coal out of the ground is no longer acceptable.”

Add to the above, the (largely ignored) fact that this coal mine would extend to within five miles of the world’s riskiest nuclear waste site at Sellafieldand you have a recipe for both climate and nuclear disaster — what a terrible double whammy.  What the accompanying write up by the report authors does not touch on, is that while there are many local people aware of the incompatibility of new coal to the UKs climate ambitions – many locals are also aware of the incompatibility of a deep undersea coal mine and a dangerous proximity to Sellafield.

The report ‘The case against new coal mines in the UK’ is from the nonpartisan thinktank Green Alliance.

West Cumbria Mining has not yet responded to the report.