“Get a Conscience” – Jobs, 5G and Mining

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Following the planning meeting in Kendal, the CEO of West Cumbria Mining told me to “Get a Conscience”.  Presumably he meant that I and others fighting the coal mine were jeopardising ‘promised’ jobs by opposing the development.

I wonder if the same vehemence of “Get a Conscience” is being directed by the CEO of West Cumbria Mining to the increasing automation of mines – the “smart mines” of the future promised by 5G.

” Henan Energy and Chemical Industry Group signed an agreement with China Mobile’s Henan branch to build the first 5G-based unmanned mining project in the province. Shandong-based mining conglomerate Yankuang Group has set up a joint lab with China Unicom and ZTE to develop 5G and intelligent mining in areas including 5G-based smart mining, intelligent transportation and drone patrol.”

I wonder if the luddites were right – it certainly looks like the fourth industrial revolution ……promised by the World Economic Forum and others promoting the necessary Blockchain technology to facilitate it …..will be the most destructive.

I doubt the 500 jobs promised would ever materialise but we can be sure the pollution and destruction would be more than evident should the first deep coal mine in the UK in decades go ahead.



Cumbria County Council Double Down on the “Carbon Neutral,” “Magical Coal Mine.” This battle is far from over!



Today on this cold sharp All Hallows Eve outside the County Offices in Kendal, folk  turned up in their droves to oppose the coal mine.  This was despite the lack of notice given to the public about this ‘ratification’ meeting.   Cumbria County Council took this unusual ‘ratification’ step because of a detailed letter sent to them highlighting flaws in the council’s original report. The letter putting Cumbria County Council ‘on notice’ of legal action was sent by top lawyers Leigh Day on behalf of Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole.  Leigh Day have gone way above and beyond the initial £1500 we crowd funded way back in 2017 when we must had a premonition that this coal mine would prove to be like Terminator – unaccountably difficult to lay to rest.

Shamefully the council again voted to approve this mine, which would be the first deep coal mine in the UK in decades.   Once again the magical thinking was reiterated that this mine would be “carbon neutral” and even make “carbon savings,” despite well reasoned and researched presentations from objectors including the leader of South Lakeland District Council, Giles Archibald who urged the council not to ratify their previous ‘yes’ vote.

This battle is far from over!

There will be video’s from the meeting to follow soon – the presentation by the Leader of South Lakeland District Council is especially worth watching but in the meantime here below is the write up from ITV border.. read full report here

Councillors urged to stop plans for new coal mine in west Cumbria

Credit: PA

Campaigners against plans for a new multi-million pound coal mine in west Cumbria are holding a protest in Kendal.

They’re calling on councillors to reject permission for the scheme that they claim will harm he UK’s efforts to reduce CO2 emissions.

West Cumbria Mining wants to extract coal off the coast of St Bees, with a processing plant on the former Marchon site at Kells.

They say the site would process 2.5m tonnes of coking coal a year for the UK and European steel industry, replacing imports from the US, Canada, Columbia and Russia.

In a meeting held today councillors are looking to “ratify” their original decision to grant permission for the development following a legal challenge.

The authority’s planning panel were asked to look again at the controversial plans “as a matter of prudence”, with a fresh ruling expected to be announced.

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The leader of @SouthLakelandDC, Giles Archibald, is urging @CumbriaCC councillors to reject a new coal mine in West Cumbria, arguing that the suggested carbon impact underestimates its affect on .

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Solicitors representing environmental campaigners ‘Keep Cumbria Coal in the Hole’ sent a letter to the council earlier this year.

Responding to claims that the authority has failed to consider greenhouse gasses from any mining operations, planning chiefs have said that the emissions from the site would be “broadly carbon neutral”.

They argue west Cumbria would cut the need to import coking coal from further afield, actually leading to a reduced carbon footprint.

“There is nothing that would warrant a different recommendation or that would put the council’s original decision at significant risk,” the report concludes.

Plans for the new coal mine in West Cumbria were approved in March.
Plans for the new coal mine in West Cumbria were approved in March. Credit: West Coast Mining

Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron presented a petition to the House of Commons calling on the Secretary of State to rule against the plans.

Speaking in the House of Commons Tim said: “I seek to present a petition on behalf of 1,852 residents of Cumbria who oppose the proposed West Cumbrian coal mine, believing that as I do that in the fight to prevent climate catastrophe it is vital that we keep fossil fuels in the ground.

“The petitioners request that the Secretary of State calls in the application for his own determination at the earliest opportunity and that he rule against the opening of the mine.”

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Tim Farron


Presented a petition in the House of Commons on behalf of local residents opposing the planned coal mine in Cumbria.

If we’re serious about tackling climate change then we simply must keep fossil fuels in the ground.

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Wildlife Watch – Who will Speak Up for these beautiful creatures ?


These pictures were taken in September 2019.

The wildlife is returning to the mining area of Whitehaven following decades of coal extraction. Now three decades after coal extraction stopped the plan is to open the first deep coal mine in the UK here under the Irish Sea off the fragile wildlife habitat of St Bees.

The mine would extend to within five miles of Sellafield. Cumbria County Council voted unanimously to approve the plan back in March and they plan to ratify this on October 31st 2019.

The battle goes on.

Please write, phone, email, speak opposing ratification.

******contact Cumbria County Council stating your opposition to their ratification of the coal mine plan.  
People can email the Development Control Committee developmentcontrol@cumbria.gov.uk asking that this outrageous coal mine plan is not ratified.  You can ask to speak at the meeting in Kendal on the 31st October (see above)  demanding that the original vote by Cumbria County Council is not ratified.  


Quote:   Ref No. 4/17/9007  West Cumbria Mining
The meeting will be in Kendal County Offices  on 31st Oct. at 10am  We hope  that as many people as can get to Kendal  County Offices on 31st October will come along and demand that the Council do not ratify the decision to open the first deep coal mine in the UK in decades.********

URGENT! Tell the Council – NO! Do Not Ratify Coal Mine Plan on 31st Oct in Kendal

Protest by Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole following Cumbria County Council’s unanimous approval of the coal mine on 19th March
Dear Friends,
Cumbria County Council Plan to Ratify the Coal Mine Decision in Kendal on 31st October

*******Please ask to speak at the meeting (deadline to ask is tomorrow 25th Oct at 4.30) or write before the meeting on 31st October and ask them not to ratify this outrageous plan. Contact Democratic Services Officer – Nicola Harrison on 01228 226906 or email:Nicola.Harrison@cumbria.gov.uk

Following Cumbria County Council’s approval of the coal mine on 19th March,  top lawyers Leigh Day wrote to them on Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole’s instruction with a set of key questions. The letter to Cumbria County Council put them *on notice* that their approval of the first deep coal mine in the UK in 30 years is putting the Council at serious risk of legal challenge.   These questions were not answered during the planning meeting.  The questions included  the need for coal and the full carbon footprint of the mine.   This letter from Leigh Day was made possible by crowdfunding.  Cumbria County Council have acknowledged but not ‘replied’  directly to the letter from lawyers Leigh Day .  However they are having a meeting about it on 31st October as they say that because of the threat of legal challenge from KCCH they now need to ratify their  original decision (and try to pre-empt a judicial review based on the questions in Leigh Day’s letter)

One of the ‘replies’ to Leigh Days question about the carbon footprint of the mine is that it would be ‘carbon neutral’.  This is magical thinking by Cumbria County Council of the highest order.   Cumbria County Council assert that the Whitehaven coal mine would displace coal from elsewhere – but say campaigners a mine elsewhere is not going to suddenly stop mining because a new  coal mine in Cumbria opens (five miles from Sellafield).

 Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole have asked if they can speak at the meeting or make a statement on others behalf – for example their lawyers, Leigh Day.  

*******Campaigners are urging others to contact Cumbria County Council with their opposition to ratification of the coal mine plan.  People can email the Development Control Committee developmentcontrol@cumbria.gov.uk asking that this outrageous coal mine plan is not ratified.  You can ask to speak at the meeting in Kendal on the 31st October (see above)  demanding that the original vote by Cumbria County Council is not ratified.  

Quote:   Ref No. 4/17/9007  West Cumbria Mining
The meeting will be in Kendal County Offices  on 31st Oct. at 10am  We hope  that as many people as can get to Kendal  County Offices on 31st October will come along and demand that the Council do not ratify the decision to open the first deep coal mine in the UK in decades.********

Note: We only know about this meeting  because of the diligence of Maggie Mason -a former senior planning officer.    The Council have not replied to Leigh Day apart from an early acknowledgement to the letter

Meanwhile a petition has been handed to Tim Farron MP to give to the Secretary of State asking him to call the decision in for a public inquiry.
This is the full text of the Addendum Report from Cumbria County Council which will form the basis of ratification on 31st Oct.

DEVELOPMENT CONTROL AND REGULATION COMMITTEE 31st October 2019 A report by the Acting Executive Director for Economy and Infrastructure
Application Reference No. 4/17/9007 Application Type: Full Planning Permission

Development of a new underground metallurgical coal mine and associated development including: the refurbishment of two existing drifts leading to two new underground drifts; coal storage and processing buildings; office and change building; access road; ventilation, power and water infrastructure; security fencing; lighting; outfall to sea; surface water management system and landscaping at the former Marchon site (High Road) Whitehaven;
a new coal loading facility and railway sidings linked to the Cumbrian Coast Railway Line with adjoining office / welfare facilities; extension of railway underpass; security fencing; lighting; landscaping; construction of a temporary development compound, and associated permanent access on land off Mirehouse Road, Pow Beck Valley, south of Whitehaven; and
a new underground coal conveyor to connect the coal processing buildings with the coal loading facility.
Former Marchon Site, Pow Beck Valley and area from Marchon Site to St Bees Coast, Whitehaven, Cumbria
This is an Addendum to the Report considered and approved by Members of DC & R Committee on 19th March 2019, together with the Update Report dated 19 March 2019 (referred to together in this report as the “Original Committee Report”). It considers the implications of a potential challenge to that decision.
Having considered carefully the details of the letter from Leigh Day Solicitors, Committee resolve to ratify their original decision that:
Planning permission be GRANTED subject to:
i. The Committee determining the application on the basis of the reasons set out in the Original Committee Report as updated by this Addendum Report;
Date Valid:
Reason for Committee Level Decision:
West Cumbria Mining Ltd 31 May 2017
ii. the conditions set out in the Original Committee Report;
iii. the applicant (West Cumbria Mining) and other relevant interest holders first entering into a Section 106 legal agreement with the County Council covering the heads of terms set out in the Original Committee Report and an additional financial contribution of £68,327 index linked for improvements to the Mirehouse Road / St Bees Road junction and the Mirehouse Road / rail load facility access road junction; and
iv. The Secretary of State withdrawing the direction preventing the Council from granting planning permission.
2.1 In March 2019 the Committee resolved to grant planning permission for the Mine, subject to conditions and a s106 agreement to secure various obligations including highway and heritage improvements and also a restoration bond. The latest redline boundary plan for the planning application as submitted on 10th December 2018 is shown on the drawing in Appendix 1. The s106 agreement is nearing completion. However the Secretary of State has issued a direction under article 31 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015. This prevents the release of the Council’s decision until the Secretary of States decides whether to call in the application to determine it himself.
2.2 On the 21st June 2019 the Council received a letter from Leigh Day Solicitors acting on behalf of “Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole” (KCCH) who were one of a number of objectors to the planning application. The letter contended that there had been material changes in circumstances since the Committee`s resolution that required the application to be reconsidered by Committee. The letter also contended that there were a number of alleged flaws in our Original Committee Report that could form the basis of a legal challenge to the Council’s decision.
2.3 We have reviewed the contents of the letter carefully and decided to address those matters in an Addendum to our Original Committee Report, given the time available due to the Secretary of State’s direction. This report itemises each of those issues and provides our response to them. We have also taken the opportunity to propose adding an obligation to the S106 Agreement for a financial contribution to the Council to ensure that works to the access with the junction with the public highway and necessary improvements to the Mirehouse Road / St Bees Road junction are carried out. The works are necessary to ensure the safe access and egress to the site and at the Mirehouse Road / St Bees Road junction and this has been agreed with West Cumbria Mining.
2.4 Normally the only recourse to challenge a decision to grant planning permission is a Judicial Review after the planning permission has been issued. However because we have yet to release the formal decision notice, Leigh Day has raised the issues in advance and the additional agreed S106 obligation, it is considered appropriate in this particular instance for the Committee to ratify its original decision having considered the issues raised and the additional S106 obligation.

The key considerations are whether any of the issues raised would have been capable of affecting the outcome of the Council’s original decision.
3.1 The Council needs to consider whether any alleged new factor would have been capable of affecting the outcome of the Committee’s decision. What is required is a change that might have had a material effect on the Committee’s deliberations had it occurred before the decision was made. The crucial question is whether the new factor might have led the Committee to reach a different decision.
3.2 It is considered that neither the liquidation of British Steel, nor the change to a zero net carbon target might have led to a different decision. However, given that the Committee is being updated in this report on other matters, for completeness and, as a matter of prudence, these matters are addressed below.
3.3 a) Leigh Day consider that with the liquidation of British Steel in May, this reduced the need for coking coal in the UK and as a result undermined the rationale for approving the planning application.
3.4 The position regarding the liquidation of British Steel naturally has the potential to be a fluid situation, which might potentially evolve or change again, but it is not considered a factor that might have led to a different Committee decision in any event.
3.5 However, an update is provided on what is understood to be the current position from publicly available information. British Steel now has a preferred buyer. A subsidiary of the Turkish Military Pension Fund has agreed Heads of Terms to buy the Company subject to a two month period of due diligence (Reported in BBC news 16th August 2019).The expectation is that the Company will continue to produce steel and with that, there will be a need for coking coal at British Steel.
3.6 In any event our recommendation was not premised on the need for coking coal being solely dependent upon the fortunes of British Steel. In paragraph 6.514 of our Original Committee Report we said that “the UK`s steel manufacturing industry requires a supply of suitable grade metallurgical coal and that this proposal will be able to provide the industry with this essential raw material for the foreseeable future”. Furthermore, “the supply of indigenous metallurgical coal to support the UK steel industry in place of imported coal is positive and should be afforded considerable weight”. It was clear that we were talking about the British steel industry as a whole in paragraph 6.514 and not one particular company. In paragraph 6.404 of the Original Committee Report we clearly identified not just British Steel as a major UK steel producer but also Tata Steel and Celsa. However, it was also noted in the Original Committee Report that the target markets were wider than the UK in that “A mine located at Whitehaven would therefore provide a more local source of this essential raw ingredient for the European steel industry (including the UK)” (paragraph 6.406) and that in this context “The proposed scheme envisages that around 180,000 tonnes of coking coal would be supplied annually to the UK steel plants at Scunthorpe and Port Talbot (360,000 tonnes total), with the remaining tonnage (just over 2 million tonnes) being transported to Redcar for onward distribution and / or export” (paragraph 6.412). Whilst there may be some current uncertainty around the future of British Steel, we do not accept that there has been a change in circumstance of such magnitude that it undermines or materially changes the overall “need” case for coking coal as set out in the Original Committee Report.
3.7 b) Leigh Day assert that the amendment to the Climate Change Act 2008 (on 27th June) to change the carbon reduction target for the UK from 80% lower than the 1990 baseline to 100% represents another material change in circumstance that impacts upon our original decision.
3.8 Our view here is that whilst the amendment makes the target more challenging, the assessment made in the Original Committee Report in respect of the impact on climate change and efforts to reduce CO2 emissions would not change materially as a result of the change in the carbon reduction target for the UK. In the event both were treated as a key considerations in our Original Committee Report. (See paragraphs 6.39 to 6.56 of the Original Committee Report).
4.1 a) Leigh Day argue that there has been a failure to consider greenhouse gases (GHG) resulting from the mining operations.
4.2 The greenhouse gas emissions of the mining operations were not estimated, because our assessment in the Original Committee Report proceeded on the basis that coal production at Whitehaven would substitute for coal production elsewhere. Therefore, we consider that the greenhouse gas emissions of the mining operations would be broadly carbon neutral.
4.3 In paragraph 6.47 we said that “the opening of the mine would be unlikely to create additional demand for coking coal as the demand for coking coal is led by the demand for steel. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that coking coal produced from a mine in the proposed location is very likely to end up as a substitute for coking coal produced further away”. Furthermore in paragraph 6.406 we said “since the opening of the new mine is unlikely to have any impact on the overall demand for steel, it is reasonable to assume that the coal extracted would be used primarily as a substitute for (as opposed to in addition to) coal currently extracted in other parts of the world and imported by ship”. What we meant by this is that the emissions from mining operations at Whitehaven would most likely be a substitute for those of similar operations elsewhere rather than being a source of additional emissions. Perhaps put more simply, if the coking coal from Whitehaven proved more competitive because it is located closer to steel manufacturing plants of the UK and Europe than the rest of the world, then mining operations elsewhere would be very likely to reduce their output by a similar level of production, leaving CO2 emissions from extraction and processing in balance globally. Furthermore, if the coal from

Whitehaven became less financially competitive than alternative sources, then there would be no market for its product, which would mean it would then remain in the ground, leading once again to a carbon neutral situation.
4.4 In paragraph 6.503 of the Original Committee Report we attributed moderate weight against the proposal from the release of CO2 emissions resulting from the extraction and processing of coal. It would have been clearer if this statement in 6.503 had simply said that greenhouse gas emissions globally as a result of the extraction and processing of coal would be broadly in balance. However, this point was made in other paragraphs of the Original Committee Report (paragraphs 6.47 and 6.406), and additional explanation has been provided above in respect of the thought processes behind the views set out in the Original Committee Report.
4.5 The applicant has made provision for the capture and reuse of methane when the mining system is sufficiently developed to freely liberate methane and allow it to be effectively captured. This is encouraged by Policy DC13 and a proposed planning condition is included as part of the Original Committee Report that requires a Mine Gas Capture Management scheme including for methane to be submitted and approved before mineral working takes place and requires the gases to be managed and used beneficially in accordance with the approved scheme.
4.6 In summary, whilst the greenhouse gas emissions of the mining operations are very likely to be carbon neutral, it is still considered that some carbon savings must exist from reduced transportation distances associated with the more locally sourced coking coal at Whitehaven, as noted in paragraphs 6.43 and 6.46 of the Original Committee Report. This supports the original recommendation in the Original Committee Report.
4.7 b) Leigh Day believe that there has been a failure to consider the need for, and GHG impacts of, middlings coal.
4.8 In the Original Committee Report at paragraph 6.68 we assessed middlings coal as a by-product of coking coal alongside waste (predominantly rock). In other words it would be extracted from underground at the same time. By implication therefore it would produce no more CO2 emissions than that necessary to extract coking coal.
4.9 Although the Original Committee Report did not calculate what CO2 emissions might arise from the eventual use of middlings coal, we identified cement manufacture as a possible use (paragraph 6.70) and in paragraph 6.71 we said “I do not consider its use a substitute for other products for non-energy generation uses in processes such as cement manufacture would result in unnecessary environmental or social impacts. There are valid arguments made in respect of climate change, but I consider these issues could be better managed by applying regulatory controls at the point of use. The planning system has no direct control over the eventual uses to which this product is put, but it would be expected they are used in accordance with government policies and regulations which are requiring a shift away from the use of coal as an energy source. If there was no demand for middlings

coal, it would be disposed of within the mine in the same way as the rock”.
4.10 The premise of the Original Committee Report was that middlings coal could have a beneficial use that would not result in unacceptable environmental or social impact and that it was not unreasonable to allow material extracted as a by-product of the coking coal operation (up to a maximum of 15% of coking coal production) to be used as a substitute for other sources of fuel in industrial processes (instead of requiring this product to be disposed of as mine waste).
4.11 The exact markets would be likely to change over time, although the applicant suggested the cement industry was one possible customer. The burning of middlings coal would undoubtedly result in the generation of some CO2, and it is for this reason that the Original Committee Report drew attention to the fact that “there are valid arguments made in respect of climate change” on that issue (paragraph 6.71). However, the Original Committee Report went on say that we considered that the control of climate change impacts from the middlings coal by- product would “be better managed by applying regulatory controls at the point of use” (paragraph 6.71).
4.12 The reason we considered regulatory controls at the point of use would be the best method of managing CO2 emissions is because of the difficultly in attempting to control the use of the middlings coal product through the planning system, since the uses to which a product is put is not a land use issue, and could not be controlled through the use of planning conditions or legal agreements. Furthermore, we do not consider that it would be possible to predict all the future markets for the product at a variety of unknown sites during the lifetime of the mine and be able to assess the environmental effects of using middlings coal or weigh the emissions in a carbon balance on the basis of what it might substitute for in any meaningful way. An assessment of this basis would not be a reasonable requirement to expect.
4.13 Industrial uses for the middlings coal would have impacts proportionate to the alternative fuel source it was substituting for, and in some cases this might be carbon neutral, but in others cases potentially not. However, an important issue that was made clear in the Original Committee Report at paragraph 6.70, is that middlings coal was not suitable for burning in thermal power stations due to its inherent characteristics and the nature of the boilers. Government policy in any case, is to stop coal being used to generate energy in the near future.
4.14 In acknowledging the valid arguments made in respect of climate change and the middlings coal, we were clear that this issue was weighed in the planning balance, but was not considered of sufficient weight as to justify the refusal of the planning permission for the extraction of coking coal, or to require a condition requiring disposal of the middlings coal product within the mine in order to make the development acceptable, as there were other determinative factors as set out above and in paragraphs 6.70, 6.71 and 6.74 of the Original Committee Report, including that there would be a condition restricting the output of middlings coal from the mine to a maximum of 15% as considered necessary as a matter of planning judgement.
4.15 c) Leigh Day allege a failure to consider the GHG impacts of an increase in

coal production.
4.16 This ground of alleged error is based on the assumption that the Whitehaven mine would add substantially to the global stock of fossil fuels and thereby increase the likelihood of GHG emissions. However, we did not consider that this was likely to be the case and this point has already been covered by my paragraph 4.1 a); there would be no increase in CO2 as the opening of the mine would be offset by the very likely reduction in production elsewhere due to competition.
4.17 The middlings coal by-product of the coking coal is addressed in 4.6 b) above.
4.18 It was also claimed that it would be possible for metallurgical coal to be exported further afield from Europe. In the Original Committee Report at paragraphs 6.408 and 6.410 however we confirmed that there was “undoubtedly a current demand within the UK and EU for coking coal” (para 6.413) and concluded that it was “reasonable to assume that demand for steel and coking coal will continue to exist both within the UK and EU for the foreseeable future” (para 6.414). In addition the Committee was told by Mr Kirkbride of WCM (see Committee minutes) “that two large steelworks (at Scunthorpe and Port Talbot) have expressed a desire to buy their product and that major steelmakers in Europe have expressed a wish to source coking coal locally instead of imports coming from afar, including the USA”. Whilst it is always possible for coal to be exported outside Europe and this cannot be controlled by the planning permission, there appeared sufficient demand for coking coal within it to justify the “need” case. Furthermore, if demand in Europe is lower than expected, then production would very likely reduce so it remains in balance with the available local markets. The more remote the potential market from the proposed Whitehaven mine site, the more likely a closer source to that potential market would be more economically competitive.
4.19 Leigh Day contend that the Whitehaven mine could depress the worldwide price of coal, which in turn could lead to an increase in demand. We acknowledged this as a duly made objection in paragraph 6.45 of the Original Committee Report. The issue was addressed in paragraphs 6.46 and 6.47 and we went onto say “however the opening of a mine would be unlikely to create additional demand for coking coal as the demand for coking coal is led by the demand for steel. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that coking coal produced from a mine in the proposed location is very likely to end up as a substitute for coking coal produced further away” (paragraph 6.47). The whole basis of our view now and then was that there is only a finite demand for steel and if you add capacity to the supply of coking coal, it is very likely that coking coal producers further afield would reduce their production whilst they sell off their surplus stocks and that coking coal produced from a mine in the proposed location would end up as a substitute for coking coal produced further away. As such, we consider that worldwide prices would generally be unaffected.
4.20 d) Leigh Day consider that we have acted unlawfully by failing to apply Policy ENV2 of the adopted Copeland Local Plan.(2013-2028)
4.21 Policy EV2 was not listed as a relevant Policy at paragraph 6.5 of the Original

Committee Report. What that Policy says is that:
“To reinforce the Coastal Zone`s assets and opportunities the Council will:
e) Protect the intrinsic qualities of the St Bees Head Heritage Coast in terms of development proposals within or affecting views from the designation. At the same time encourage schemes which assist appropriate access to and interpretation of the Heritage Coast area”
4.22 Although not listed, we took full account of the policy in the Original Committee Report and considered it to be relevant to the application. A Policy does not have to be specifically referred to by name as long as it is clear it was otherwise fully considered. That is how the policy was addressed in the Original Committee Report, which did deal with the implications for the Heritage Coast. At paragraph 6.375, the Original Committee Report states that “the development would have also have a moderate adverse impact relating to the heritage sensitivity of the St Bees Heritage Coast” This is repeated in paragraphs 6.383 and 6.507. I am satisfied that the matter was adequately addressed in the Original Committee Report and the Committee should take account of it.
5.1 The Original Committee Report states that “Works would also be carried out to the Mirehouse Road / St Bees Road junction where the turning radius will be adjusted to improve the operational safety of the junction” (paragraph 6.267). Improvements are also needed to the Mirehouse Road / rail load facility access road junction. These works are necessary in relation to the development and the applicant has agreed to fund the Council to do the works as part of the S106 Agreement. It is proposed that the additional financial contribution will be added to the Agreement.
6.1 It is unusual to have such a long gap in time between Committee making a resolution and the release of a decision, but this has been unavoidable, given the Secretary of State direction to the Council not to grant planning permission until further notice from him. However, this has given Officers the opportunity to update and advise the Committee on the matters raised by Leigh Day, along with seeking Committee approval of the additional S106 contribution. In this case I am content on the basis of this report that there is nothing that would warrant a different recommendation or that would put the Council’s original decision at significant “risk” and members should take into account all of the previous material considerations as updated by this report, including the previous representations and objections.
6.2 Officers continue to consider that the proposed development accords with the Development Plan as a whole, it is recommended that planning permission is granted and there are no other material considerations that indicate otherwise.
Appendix 1

Ref No. 4/17/9007 Development Control and Regulation Committee –

New Partner – Javelin Global Commodities “aims to ramp up its coal trading”

This is PLANNED Under the Irish Sea just five miles from Sellafield – what could go wrong? We need to STOP THIS! 

New partner for West Cumbria Mining. London-based Javelin launched in 2015 and is 34 percent owned by U.S. coal miner Murray Energy, 28 percent owned by German utility E.ON and 38 percent owned by its principal traders, some of whom were previously at Goldman Sachs…
WCM have just published this here:
“West Cumbria Mining is pleased to announce that it has entered into an exclusive marketing and offtake agreement with Javelin Global Commodities.

This agreement represents a major milestone in the development of WCM’s flagship Woodhouse Colliery project and is a key step towards a world class underground metallurgical coal mine. It also demonstrates the confidence that Javelin has in a premium UK source of steelmaking coal and the long-term market demand for this sector critical product.

The agreement will see Javelin purchasing 100% of WCM’s production output and selling this to steelmaking customers in the UK and Europe, on terms which will reduce the payment time for coal deliveries from weeks to days. The structure will free up several million pounds of working capital facility on WCM’s balance sheet, providing significant assistance during the early years of the mine’s production.

West Cumbria Mining CEO, Mark Kirkbride, commented; ‘I am delighted to be able to announce this exclusive agreement with Javelin, following on from extensive dialogue and a very clear joint objective to ensure that Cumbrian steelmaking coal is supplied into the UK and European steel industry via a world class, highly respected specialist commodity trader. This is a key step for the project, and my team and I are looking forward to working collaboratively with Javelin to demonstrate real value and innovation to our customers.’

Peter Bradley, CEO of Javelin Global Commodities, (formerly MD of Goldman Sachs) commented; ‘Javelin is very pleased to be partnering with such an outstanding mining project and with a group of management and investors that have a history of delivering world class mining operations.

I am particularly excited to introduce this strong steel making coal to the domestic UK and European export markets at a time where competitively priced feedstock is needed to support the industry in its efforts to compete with low cost imports of steel. I am confident the project will get the final funding it needs, and Javelin looks forward to supporting West Cumbria throughout the development.”

SUPERFICIALLY this is being given a most shiny PR SPIN.   But there is a lot for sceptics to take notice of.
One of our Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole colleagues has made the observations that:
“Firstly, Javelin has been going less time than WCM has.  Founded in 2015 it has a complex control and accounting structure but it is essentially a couple of city blokes backed by a German finance company and a US coal company.  Secondly, you can see from both Kirkbride’s and Bradley’s comments that they are having difficulties getting funding and for why that might be you only need to research Sirius Mineralsover in the NYMNP.  Thirdly, Javelin has picked bad’uns before, see here.  Finally, Murray Energy, the coal company, are the main backers of Javelin and they are in deep trouble.  All in all they can spin it up but this looks like desperation from both of them.”

“Mayor Hits Back at Mine Protestors”

Whitehaven NEWS

Mayor hits back at mine protesters

How the mine will look

How the mine will look

THE elected Mayor of Copeland has insisted the council is “fully signed up to the climate change agenda” despite opposition to his pro-mine stance.

Mike Starkie made the comments after campaigners opposed to a £165m mine planned for West Cumbria descended on Whitehaven over the weekend.

The plans have been ‘called in’ by Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron amid environmental concerns, but Mr Starkie is among those calling for the challenge to be thrown out by the Government.

Protestors from Extinction Rebellion marched from Haig Pit museum to Copeland council’s Market Hall to express their concerns, though the plans were agreed at county level.

West Cumbria Mining wants to extract coking coal off the coast of St Bees, with a processing plant on the former Marchon site at Kells were given the go-ahead in March.

Speaking at a meeting of the executive, major Mike Starkie insisted that the council was working hard – alongside other local authorities in the county – to make Cumbria carbon neutral.

But he also took aim at some of the protestors who he said were “not local” and had “probably travelled here in their diesel cars, putting all the carbon emissions into the air en route.”

Mr Starkie said the only disturbance caused by the campaigners was to members of the Whitehaven public who were “absolutely disinterested” with anything they had to say.

The mayor reiterated his “100 per cent unequivocal support for the mine” in the face of opposition.

He also described the planning process as “rigorous” and stressed that “everything was considered” in the run-up the county council planning panel’s decision.

He added: “And I am going to once again call on the Government to throw out the call in as soon as possible.

“At the end of the day there is a climate change agenda that we’re 100 per cent bought into and we are absolutely understand, but there is an economic agenda as well – and we need a balance.

“We need renewable energy and the last time I checked you still need steel for the windmills and that’s what the coking coal is being mined to produce.”

Mr Farron and Workington MP Sue Hayman, who is the Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, are the only two of the county’s six MPS who have not written to the Government to get this ‘call in’ thrown out.

Copeland’s green credentials.

Copeland has hosted the first commercially operative nuclear power station (Sellafield) that powered the nation through low-carbon energy supply for almost 50 years;

In 2018/19, the council invested £1 million into our doorstop recycling service and collected 3,354 tonnes of recycling – doubling the previous years’ collection;

The council is signatories of the Cumbria Joint Public Health Strategy Commitment which commits local authorities in Cumbria to become a net-zero carbon county.

The authority has pledged to reduce its climate footprint by 1.6 per cent every year – in line with statutory commitments in the Climate Change Act of 2008.”

Read In the Whitehaven News here

In the News – Protestors March to Oppose Mine Plans

Whitehaven NEWS

Protestors march to oppose mine plans

Protest: Activists gather to march against plans for West Cumbria's new mine

Protest: Activists gather to march against plans for West Cumbria’s new mine

Protestors marched across Whitehaven to campaign against a £165m mine planned for West Cumbria.

Members of the Extinction Rebellion marched from the Haig Pit museum to Copeland Council’s Market Hall to show their opposition to the scheme.

Plans to extract coking coal off the coast of St Bees, with a processing plant on the former Marchon site at Kells were given the go-ahead in March.

Melanie Greggain, who organised the protest, said: “We are in a climate emergency right now. Governments around the world have declared a climate emergency and I think global warming needs to be at the forefront of our minds and everything we do.

“If we are going to move forward in life and in the world we need to actually find better ways to make materials like steel. It needs to move forward at a quicker pace. We can’t keep taking fossil fuels out of the ground. We can’t just keep drilling huge holes into the side of the earth.

“If the climate rises we are going to see more floods in Cumbria. We have already seen devastating floods. Wildlife is dying out.

“We completely understand that people need jobs. We are not attacking people who need jobs. What we are saying is we need to be bale to create jobs that are not going to make the planet worse off.”

Marianne Birkby, of the Keep Cumbria Coal in the Hole group said: “It’s just such close proximity to Sellafield and it’s going closer than any other coal mine in this area has done before. That’s what first alerted us then when you see the massive green house gas emissions, methane emissions, possible subsidence of the Irish Sea bed. There’s stuff that we really don’t want to move.”

Martin Kendall, who lives at High Walton, near St Bees, said: “I have got their coal loading facility in my back yard. I’m going to overlook it, I’m going to hear it, there’s going to be loads of light, loads of noise. It’s going to be a huge complex.”

The Momentum Grows to Stop the Coal Mine!



The momentum grows to stop the coal mine and the more that folk find out about this plan the more determined they are to oppose as evidenced by the protest yesterday organised by a Whitehaven lass and quite a few Whitehaven folk taking part including those whose lives would be directly blighted by this plan.

Good coverage from ITV Border but still the same old mantra repeated that this is coking coal..so what!  The enormous amount of ‘middlings coal’ also to be mined is cynically dismissed by West Cumbria Mining as a “by product.”  But middlings and coking coal will emit both methane and co2 in their mining and in their use.  There is no need for this mine either here or overseas there is no shortage of coking coal and certainly no need to open a new mine.

The risks of earthquake and subsidence of the sea bed in this vulnerable location near Sellafield is pretty much a taboo subject we have found.

Many thanks to organiser of the protest – a Whitehaven lass, Melanie – more power to all our collective elbows.  This is not a done deal and people can take action by writing to James Brokenshire and asking him to call in Cumbria County Council’s decision  

Here are some photos of the protest

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ITVs Border’s Lunchtime Coverage below.

(if anyone has a copy of the evening coverage we can share and post that here too.

Would You Take A Job thats Bad for the Planet?

No mention that this mine would go so close to Sellafield but otherwise some good points made…although it is presented as a done deal – it isn’t not by a long chalk!!


You Can Send This Postcard to the Secretary of State to Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole

This template can easily be printed out on one side of ordinary A4 paper (just drag the template image onto the desktop to print it out – or highlight it to print)

Follow the instructions on the paper (can also be seen in the slideshow)

The heart can be coloured in for Xtra effect!

Remember to put a 2nd class stamp on.

Your name will then be added to those asking that the Secretary of State call in the decision made by Cumbria County Council so that it can be properly looked at in a public inquiry




Postcard to SOS - KCCH.jpeg
Postcard to Print out on A4 paper to fold up and send to the Secretary of State asking him to call in the Coal mine decision.