“Vindication for campaigner fighting plan for deep coal mine in West Cumbria”

On Leigh Days Website

A campaigner, who issued a legal case against a proposed deep coal mine in West Cumbria on grounds that the climate change impact had not been properly taken into account, says she has been vindicated by the latest development in plans for the scheme.

20 May 2020

Earlier this year, campaigner Marianne Bennett, with support from the Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole (KCCH) group was granted permission for a judicial review of Cumbria County Council’s decision to allow the first deep coal mine in the UK for 30 years to be built by West Cumbria Mining (WCM) in Whitehaven.

However, since the ruling in February, WCM has submitted a revised planning application to only process premium metallurgical coal in a simplified, cheaper-to-construct mine proposed for the site of the former Marchon Chemical Works. The previous application would have resulted in 15 per cent of the mined produce being a type of non-metallurgical coal, known as “middlings” coal.

As a result, Cumbria County Council has now confirmed that it will no longer rely on the resolution decision being challenged in the judicial review proceedings.

However, Ms Bennett’s legal team at Leigh Day solicitors believes that WCM has submitted the revised planning application to defeat the legal challenge.

They have agreed with Cumbria County Council and WCM that the claim will be withdrawn. They will now seek costs on behalf of Ms Bennett from Cumbria County Council and WCM.

Ms Bennett said:

“We have in effect achieved what we first set out to do, which was to overturn the council’s unanimous decision to approve the coal mine.

“We will be seeking legal costs so that we can keep our fighting fund for another day. We will now be encouraging our supporters to lobby the council so they do not say yes to this revised planning application for the first deep coal mine in the UK in decades.”

Rowan Smith, of Leigh Day solicitors, said:

“We believe that this revised application by WCM is an attempt to defeat the legal challenge which would have been brought at the High Court in Manchester later this year.

“Our client will be studying the new plan carefully and considering further action because she firmly believes that the changes proposed do not resolve the climate change issue with the project and this was the principal reason she took her brave legal action at the start of this process.”

Ms Bennett is also represented by David Wolfe QC (Matrix) and Merrow Golden (Francis Taylor Buildings).

Information was correct at time of publishing. See terms and conditions for further details.

In the News…


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 Spirit of the Irish Sea Thanks You

Spirit of the Irish Sea (for web)
“Sea Horse Heart – Spirit of the Irish Sea”

Let 2020 be the year that we Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole and stop this terrible plan. Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed to the crowdfunder and equal thanks to those who have been sharing and talking about this.

The image above is a small watercolour painting and the final person to donate to the crowdfunder will receive the original painting.

Thanks to you all we now have the means to push forward with a legal challenge.

But we are not resting on our laurels and will be pursuing every means possible to stop this coal mine, alongside the legal challenge.

The St Bees area of the Irish Sea is in a Marine Conservation Zone and will need a license from the Marine Management Organisation in order for coal to be extracted from deep under the Irish Sea. From what we can see the MMO only consults with conservancy agencies and organisations (?) This is rather scary as the organisations tasked with the protection of Cumbria’s wildlife have, incredibly, so far been rather nonchalant about this coal mine and the impacts it would inevitably have on the Irish Sea and the Irish Sea bed. We will be pushing for a full public consultation with the public and with surrounding countries. The countries that are on the Irish Sea shoreline are, Scotland, England , Wales, Isle of Man,  Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland . All of these countries should be consulted by the MMO in their deliberations on whether or not to give West Cumbria Mining free rein to mine out coking and industrial “middlings” coal from under the Irish Sea just five miles from the world’s riskiest nuclear waste site, Sellafield.

ALSO: The Climate Change Act 2008 is a legally binding, long-term framework for the UK to mitigate and adapt to the impact of climate change. Under the Act, public bodies (including the Marine Management Organisation) must report on the steps that they are taking to respond to climate change. The purpose of this report is to highlight the ways in which the MMO’s work is at risk of being affected by a changing climate and to set out any actions to help the organisation adapt.


Little Puffin Says Thank You!- Lets Stop This Coal Mine!

Here is a little puffin to THANK YOU for all the generous donations so far towards the legal case against the Coal Mine!

This little puffin ( hand made last night!) represents the amazing birds that are sometimes seen at St Bees.  In order for the puffin to continue to visit St Bees they need sandeels which we know are under threat from temperature rise in the oceans.

On the next update we will share the letter which has been sent to Cumbria County Council from Leigh Day.  The letter is the start of the legal battle which aims to keep the temperature from rising in our oceans by stopping this diabolic plan for the first deep coal mine in decades!

Please keep sharing!  We CAN stop this coal mine and it will be ALL THANKS TO YOU!

Here is the Link to our Crowd Justice page  Please Keep Sharing and lets get the message out that this coal mine is not a done deal



Thank You to All Who are Donating To Stop the Deep Coal Mine Under My Home in the Irish Sea!

WOWEE!!!    All Thanks to you the initial £5000 target has been exceeded and we are now on our way to making sure we have the means to take on a Legal Challenge.

However …Raising more funds means that the fantastic work Leigh Day has already started can continue.  So please if you can donate please do and if you cannot, please share and lets get the message out that the first deep coal mine in the UK in 30 years is NOT A DONE DEAL.

The more funds we raise the more we can do to challenge the outrageous decision by Cumbria County Council in approving this deep coal mine.

The Dolphins and Marine Life of the Irish Sea say a ” BIG Thank You”   The last thing they need is a MASSIVE DEEP COAL MINE causing subsidence and pollution of the already stressed Irish Sea Bed.

PLEASE SHARE Our CrowdJustice crowdfunder – THANK YOU!

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.********

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.”

Cumbria County Council Put On Notice

Dear Friends,

Thanks to so many of you who supported our call out for crowd funding way back in November 2017. Only With your help did we secure the advice of top Lawyers,  Leigh Day.

Leigh Day have on our instruction written an excellent letter to Cumbria County Council putting them *on notice* that their approval of the first deep coal mine in the UK in 30 years puts the Council at serious risk of legal challenge.

The downside to this is that we now have no funds left for legal challenge and we are exploring the possibility of a brave soul stepping up who is eligible for legal aid.

Below is a press release sent out to all press (the press most notably the national press have so far abandoned any attempt at journalistic honesty in reporting on this coal mine and our battle to stop it)



Campaigners battling to stop the first deep coal mine in the UK in 30 years have issued a warning to Cumbria County Council that their unanimous vote of approval on 19th March 2019 could be the focus of a legal challenge.

The letter issued by top environmental lawyers Leigh Day acting on behalf of Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole puts the Council on notice that there is a *serious risk of legal challenge.*

In March Cumbria County Council’s Development Control and Regulation Committee resolved that planning permission should be granted for a major new underground metallurgical coal mine on the former Marchon Chemical Works site in Whitehaven, Cumbria. Finalised planning permission is not actually expected to be granted for at least a few months as West Cumbria Mining and others need to enter into a special 106 agreement for example with surrounding landowners in advance of that final permission being granted. KCCH was also informed, on 13 June 2019, that the Secretary of State is still considering whether to call-in the application for his own determination and that he does not expect to make a decision on this before July.

Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole is a Radiation Free Lakeland campaign, RaFL is a small civil society group whose primary focus is on nuclear safety, the mine would extend to 5 miles from Sellafield. KCCH was one of the many objectors to the planning application focussing its objections on environmental grounds.

The letter sent to Cumbria County Council on 20th June from Leigh Day informs the County Council of a number of flaws and omissions in their planning assessment and invites the Committee to formally re-consider its resolution to grant permission.

The issues and legal flaws are listed and described in detail in the letter. They include Cumbria County Council’s failures to consider:

GHG emissions of the mining operations
The need for, and GHG impacts of, Middlings Coal
GHG impacts of an increase in coal production.
4. Failure to consider and apply Policy ENV2 of Copeland’s Local Plan (2013 to 2028)

The letter states in conclusion:

*For the reasons given above, KCCH formally requests that the Committee reconsiders its resolution to grant planning permission for the Whitehaven Coalmine development and asks that the Committee has full regard to each of the considerations listed above when it does so. The Council’s officers are asked to facilitate that process. In the event that the Council refuses to reconsider its resolution to grant, KCCH requests that the Council provide its reasons for doing so.*

Marianne Birkby from KCCH says *we are delighted that Leigh Day have agreed to represent campaigners battling to stop this coal mine which is disastrous on so many different levels and we hope that Cumbria County Council take this opportunity rethink their decision which will impact on so many generations to come*

Anna Dews, solicitor at Leigh Day, said: *We are in the midst of a global climate crisis and our client is strongly of the view that Cumbria Country Council must now rethink its resolution to grant planning permission for the Whitehaven Coalmine. In doing so it will have to reconcile the fact that coal-fired power was the biggest single contributor to the rise of emissions in 2018 with the need to urgently tackle the climate crisis in the local area.*

Rowan Smith, solicitor at Leigh Day, added *Since the Committee resolved to grant planning permission, British Steel (one of the proposed main recipients of the coal) went into compulsory liquidation and the UK government laid legislation in parliament for a net zero Climate Change Act target. Our client KCCH strongly believes that these developments are very persuasive reasons for the Committee to rethink its decision. If it does not, then KCCH will be prepared to take legal action.


Main Text of the Letter to Cumbria County Council- references available


As you are aware, on 19 March 2019, Cumbria County Council’s Development Control and Regulation Committee (the Council; the Committee) resolved that planning permission should be granted for a major new underground metallurgical coal mine on the *former Marchon* site in Whitehaven, Cumbria subject to various matters including the execution of a section 106 agreement. This permission, if and when actually granted (presumably by an officer acting under delegated powers), will allow for 50 years’ of continuous coal-mining operations. At full capacity, the mine will produce 2,430,000 tonnes per annum of *coking coal* and 350,000 tonnes per annum of *middlings coal*(otherwise known as *industrial coal*).

KCCH was one of the many objectors to the planning application, focussing its objections on environmental grounds. KCCH noted the lack of any carbon footprint assessment of the emissions from the mining activities and it doubted the applicant’s (West Cumbria Mining) allegations of expected CO2 savings from import substitution of coking coal.

KCCH does not expect planning permission actually to be granted for at least a few months from the date of this letter, having regard to the need for WCM and others to enter into a significant section 106 agreement in advance of any permission being granted. KCCH was also informed, on 13 June 2019, that the Secretary of State is still considering whether to call-in the application for his own determination and that he does not expect to make a decision on this before July.

Consequently, it may be some time before a grant of planning permission could be made. KCCH nonetheless seeks – by way of this letter – to inform the County Council of a number of flaws and omissions in the planning assessment underlying the Committee’s resolution to grant. We consider that these flaws also represent a number of grounds for a legal challenge, should any subsequent decision to grant planning permission be based on the same reasoning/assessment. Through this letter we, therefore, intend to put the Council on notice that there is a serious risk of legal challenge, should any such planning permission be granted.

Furthermore, we invite the Committee to formally re-consider its resolution to grant permission (and by this letter ask officers to refer the matter back to the Committee for that purpose), taking into account the substance of each of the matters raised below. Each of the matters is plainly a material consideration which could, and we believe would, lead the Committee to reverse its previous resolution.

With that in mind we note that British Steel went into compulsory liquidation in May, putting 5,000 jobs at risk and prompting a Parliamentary inquiry which will consider the serious challenges being faced by the UK steel sector. We consider that this recent news fundamentally undermines the *need* case for *coking coal* in the UK market. As a result, it materially impacts on the Council’s assessment that 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” and its conclusion that there will be a *likely need* for metallurgical coal for the steel industry which has the potential to result in *national benefits* of *considerable weight* (officer’s report at 6.514).

For this reason alone, we request that the Committee formally reconsider its resolution to grant. There has been a clear change to the factual circumstances underlying the resolution made on 19 March and it cannot be known whether the Committee would reach the same conclusion again in light of these new facts.

Issues and legal flaws

Failure to consider GHG emissions of the mining operations

There can be no doubt that the mine will emit green-house gases (GHG) through its production processes. This was accepted by officers in the report to the Committee (OR) at 6.44. KCCH can see no evidence that the applicant provided any estimate for the GHG emissions arising from the mining operations themselves. It appears that the only assessment of site emissions is in Chapter 15 of the Environmental Impact Assessment, but this concerned local air quality impacts and dust emissions.

The development’s impact on climate change was central to the planning balance. The Committee was required to consider this under both national and local policy. In carrying out the balancing act at *stage 1* of the NPPF paragraph 211 test (and the policy test in DC13 of the Cumbria Minerals and Waste Local Plan), the emissions from mining operations were afforded *moderate weight”*(officer report at 6.503). This is the same broad category of weight (“moderate”) afforded to the potential benefits alleged to arise through GHG savings from import substitution of coking coal (at 6.502). However, whilst a crude estimate (5.3 million tonnes of CO2) was provided for the alleged GHG savings, there is no equivalent estimate for the expected emissions from the operations themselves.

It follows that the mine’s GHG emissions was a material consideration that was left out of account. Furthermore, the Committee could not rationally balance (as it needed to do) (i) the alleged GHG savings against (ii) the new GHG emissions, without comparable (and robust) information on each.

Failure to consider the need for, and GHG impacts of, Middlings Coal

The production of middlings coal will constitute up to 15% of total output. This is roughly 364,000 tonnes per annum and is a significant amount of production. It correlates, for example, to the 360,000 tonnes per annum of coking coal that will be supplied to UK steel plants.

In stark contrast to the Committee’s assessment of the coking coal to be produced from the mine, the Committee has failed to lawfully consider the need for the middlings coal – both in terms of the level of demand for it and where that demand will arise.

The OR states, at 6.70 that:

…since government policy is to move away from coal as an energy source, the likely market for this product will be industrial processes such as cement manufacture. Since the middlings coal would otherwise be disposed of with the waste rock material, I consider that if markets are available for this product for non-energy uses, this is potentially a beneficial use of a product that would otherwise be disposed of as waste. (emphasis added)

There is no further assessment of whether such markets are available, nor where they are located (whether in the UK, Europe or elsewhere in the world). There is no consideration of the likelihood of import substitution for middlings coal, or the CO2 emissions associated with transporting it to its end destination. Moreover, the Committee failed to consider whether – if permission were to be refused – any *need* for middlings coal would be likely to be met by imported industrial coal or lower carbon-emitting sources.

In short, the Committee failed to have regard to the carbon footprint of the middlings coal and its potential GHG emissions impacts. This failing fundamentally undermined any assessment of the development’s overall impact on climate change.

It was irrational for the Committee to consider only the potential carbon footprint of the coking coal and not all coal to be produced. What is more, the Council has suggested a 15% restriction on the production of middlings coal, without providing any reasons why this is a suitable limit (see the officer’s report at 6.72-6.74).

Failure to consider the GHG impacts of an increase in coal production

The UK Parliament passed a motion to declare a climate emergency on 1 May 2019. As the High Court recently stated, the increase in global temperatures is *potentially catastrophic* (R (Spurrier and others) v Secretary of State for Transport [2019] EWHC 1070 (Admin) at [559]). In this context, it was imperative on the Committee to scrutinise any potential for an increase in GHG impacts arising from increased coal production at Whitehaven. It failed to do so.

Any addition to the global stock of fossil fuels will de facto increase the likelihood of GHG emissions. If the Whitehaven Coalmine were to be permitted, a very substantial amount of coal will be added to the global stock over a very significant amount of time (50 years). This will clearly increase GHG emissions and is a highly material consideration that the Council should have had regard to.

This is notwithstanding any (non-binding) intentions of the applicant that the coal to be produced will not be used for power-generation industries (KCCH have particular concerns that there is little guarantee on how the middlings coal will eventually be used and nothing to prevent it from being used in power-generation industries).


It is also notwithstanding any (again non-binding) intentions of the applicant that some of the coal to be produced will substitute for imports that would otherwise have had to travel further (with associated transport-related CO2 emissions). In addition to there being no assessment of import-substitution in relation to middlings coal (see point 2 above), KCCH highlights that the vast majority of coking coal will be exported (only 360,000 tonnes is destined for the UK steel plants at Scunthorpe and Port Talbot).

Nothing in the proposed planning permission restricts these exports to Europe (or Western Europe) and it remains entirely possible for the applicant to export the coal further afield (particularly as the permission will remain in place for 50 years, over which time the markets for both coking coal and middlings coal will continue to change). If the coal is exported further afield, the alleged GHG savings from import substitution could easily be cancelled out, or outweighed by additional transport emissions associated with exported coal from the mine to non-European destinations.

The Committee should have considered these possibilities but failed to do so.

Worldwide prices

Finally, the increase in coal production could lead to a depreciation in the worldwide price of coal which could, in turn, lead to an increase in demand for coal. The OR noted that this concern had been raised (at 6.45) but concluded that it was an issue *far broader than can be addressed or influenced through this planning application* (at 6.50). That is not a sustainable answer.

This conflicts with the approach taken by the Secretary of State in his decision on the Highthorn open cast coal mining development at Druridge Bay in south-east Northumberland. In assessing this application, the Inspector did consider whether the additional production of coal could affect international prices, albeit he concluded that it could not (at C114 of the report) and the Secretary of State did not disagree with this position (para 34 of the letter). Notably, the Highthorn mine proposes to extract significantly less coal than at Whitehaven (the total amount of coal to be extracted will be a maximum of 3 million tonnes) and for a much shorter period (5 years).

Climate Change Act 2008

The failings noted at points 1-3 above also prevented the Committee from fully appreciating, and having regard to, the Development’s contribution to the UK’s CO2 emissions, in a context where the Government has set legally binding national targets to cut emissions by 80% of 1990 levels by 2050 through the Climate Change Act 2008 (in order to comply with the UK’s international commitments to keep the global temperature rise to 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels in 2050).

What is more, on 12 June 2019 legislation was laid before Parliament designed to implement the Government’s announcement that the UK will eradicate its net contribution to climate change by 2050. The legislation will amend the Climate Change Act 2008 to achieve this and it is expected to greatly enhance the duties imposed by the Act. We consider this recent announcement to be another material change in circumstances, since the resolution to grant, mandating reconsideration by the Committee.

Failure to consider and apply ENV2

Policy ENV2 of Copeland’s Local Plan (2013-2028) is not listed as a relevant policy for the Development in the OR. However, it states 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.

The Development clearly impacts on the St Bees Heritage Coast area. Officers advised that it would have a *moderate adverse impact* on the heritage sensitivity of St. Bees Heritage Coast (at 6.375 and 6.383).

However, there appears to have been no consideration whatsoever of development plan policy ENV2 and whether the *intrinsic qualities* of the St Bees Heritage Coast could be protected. As a result, the Committee has unlawfully failed to have regard to a relevant policy in the development plan.


For the reasons given above, KCCH formally requests that the Committee reconsiders its resolution to grant planning permission for the Whitehaven Coalmine development and asks that the Committee has full regard to each of the considerations listed above when it does so. The Council’s officers are asked to facilitate that process.

In the event that the Council refuses to reconsider its resolution to grant, KCCH requests that the Council provide its reasons for doing so.

Please send all future correspondence in this matter to Rowan Smith and Anna Dews, solicitors with conduct of this matter, using the details in our letterhead.
Yours faithfully,
Leigh Day


Thank you for signing the petition Call in the Decision and Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole (its too near Sellafield), can you help spread the word by forwarding the link below to your friends?


MANY Thanks

Marianne Birkby


two bears tea 2.jpg
On Friday 22nd February Campaigners including a polar bear will be tearing up a copy of the Paris Climate Agreement outside the Offices of West Cumbria Mining in Whitehaven.
Campaigners invite people to join them on an approximately 30 – 40 minutes walk from Whitehaven Train Station  at 2.34pm in order to walk to the Haig Mining Museum where the developers West Cumbria Mining have their offices. 
Joining the campaigners will be a life size polar bear who will tear up the Paris Climate Agreement in front of WCM headquarters in Whitehaven (at the old Haig Mining Museum)  at approximately 3.30pm
Campaigners say they are taking this action to underline the insanity of opening up a new deep coal mine while a state of climate emergency is being declared by an increasing number of UK and overseas towns and cities.   The proposed coal mine at Whitehaven is promoted as being primarily for coking (metallurgical) coal and therefore somehow immune from the 175 million tonnes of CO2 (and significant methane emissions) the mine would emit over its lifetime.
Campaigners main objections are:
  • This  coal mine proposal flies in the face of Cumbria County Council’s Carbon Reduction Plan and Climate Local programme.
  • The mine workings would extend to within 8km of Sellafield, this would increase the risk of earth tremors and worse.
  • Collapse of the sea bed as a consequence of mining under the Irish Sea would resuspend radioactive particles from decades of Sellafield reprocessing.
  • There are other ways to produce steel than with coking (metallurgical) coal.
With regard to seabed collapse Tim Farron MP has written to campaigners saying:
“there certainly should be questions asked about the chances that the mine could physically undermine the Sellafield nuclear installation (8km away) and risk spreading radioactive substances.”
Note:  The Planning Meeting by Cumbria County Council’s Development Control Committee has been deferred several times.  We have been told it ‘may’ take place on 19th March at County Offices, Busher Walk, Kendal
Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole. https://keepcumbriancoalinthehole.wordpress.com
Radiation Free Lakeland
West Cumbria Mining

The Crown and the Irish Sea

Prince Charles has spoken passionately many times about the fragility of the world’s oceans and the need to protect them against dangerous and polluting developments.

We were shocked to find that the Crown has signed an agreement with West Cumbria Mining in order to exploit the rich coal seams lying in faulted  and complex geology beneath the Irish Sea bed.

Whats that you say :  Clutching at straws to Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole?   You bet!

But this is some right Royal straw and it is a very serious matter that should concern Prince Charles and the dignity of the Crown at least as much as the diabolic plan to open the first deep coal mine in the UK in 30 years concerns us.

Below is a letter to the Crown’s representative in Cumbria.

To The Lieutenancy Office:

Suzannah Walker, Assistant Clerk to the Lieutenancy, Cumbria House, 107-117 Botchergate, Carlisle, Cumbria CA1 1RD

I am writing on behalf of Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole and would be very grateful if the following could be sent to the appropriate person for the attention of the Lord-Lieutenant for Cumbria, Mrs Claire Hensman for advice on how to raise concerns about this issue.

Our concern:

The association of the monarch with the exploitation (by means of possible/probable dubious foreign capital from China) of fossil fuels under the Irish Sea bed. The fossil fuel safely in the ground under the Irish Sea which the monarch inherited as sovereign must, by law, custom and practice be passed on to her eventual successor who is presumed to be HRH the Prince of Wales.

Our members and sympathetic associates understand that HM holds the sub-sea mineral rights as far as the limit of UK territorial waters and that HM, personally, made an exploration agreement with the developers, West Cumbria Mining dated 21st July 2017. The results of the subsequent exploration have not yet been shared (as far as we know) with the elected representatives of HM’s subjects who are resident in Cumbria and who are now being invited by their staff to give planning permission on 22nd February in Kendal.

The dignity of the Crown in Cumbria is we believe under threat as a result of this arrangement between HM , the developers WCM and their funders EMR Capita.

We would be very grateful if we could be informed of the correct way to raise these concerns.

Yours sincerely,

Marianne Birkby

on behalf of Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole (a Radiation Free Lakeland campaign)

(address supplied)

Link to the Agreement between  HM and WCM can be found here: https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/07143398/charges/lXWNTRigei_OaJQXhs2MwyKZ7ms

EMR Capital – Chinese Money d http://emrcapital.com/our-team/our-team/

the crown - wcm