- 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.
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.
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.
on behalf of Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole (a Radiation Free Lakeland campaign)
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/
I have just been sent the following from Cumbria County Council. Those of you who have already written letters of objection will also have recieved this. We will have a look at this and draft our formal response to it as soon as we can (before the deadline of 28th January). It is another opportunity to send in more objections to the diabolic plan for the first deep coal mine in the UK in 30 years.
The Development Control Committee may take a decision on this plan early in the new year and we need more groups and individuals to:
OBJECT, BE VISIBLE, DO A DAVID ATTENBOROUGH and say a BIG FAT NO TO NEW COAL (THIS NOT JUST ANY OLD COAL BUT BIG NEW DEEP UNDERSEA MINE NEAR TO SELLAFIELD! )
Please excuse the capitals but this is IMPORTANT and has so far gone way under the radar, which is surprising given the Extinction Rebellion coverage and activism. The (rather abstract) XR demands have been very forcefully articulated by many including by the pronuclear guru George Monbiot .
Here are a few thoughts on the big picture.
The demands are that the Govnt enact “radical action” to halt climate change.
But surely those demands apply to Cumbria or are we in some kind of parallel universe?
Here in Cumbria the developers of the first deep coal mine in the UK for 30 years have already plonked newly well heeled (Chinese money?) feet well and truly under the table in West Cumbria. The plan is for the mining to extend to within 8km of Sellafield over a 50 year period.
What is going on? Why havn’t George Monbiot and other prominent climate activists with privileged platforms even raised an eyebrow about this massive coal mine plan?
What is so special about this first deep coal mine in the UK for 30 years that it enjoys such protection from any public scrutiny ?
Here below is the Letter from Cumbria County Council
“Please find attached a formal letter from Cumbria County Council notifying you of further submissions relating to the West Cumbria Mining planning application. Kind Regards
Cumbria County Council
Environment & Regulatory Services
Date: 13 December 2018 References: 4/17/9007
NOTIFICATION OF AMENDED PROPOSALS AND OTHER INFORMATION SUBMITTED IN RELATION TO A PLANNING APPLICATION ACCOMPANIED BY AN ENVIRONMENTAL STATEMENT
Regulation 22 of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2011 (as amended); & Article 15 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015
Ref No: Location:
I give notice that West Cumbria Mining Ltd has submitted Amended Proposals and Other Information (submitted in December 2018) to Cumbria County Council in respect of the above planning application. The planning application (received on 31 May 2017) was accompanied by an Environmental Statement, and further information relating to the planning application and Environmental Statement was submitted by the applicant in September 2017 and January/February 2018.
Serving the people of Cumbria
The purpose of this letter is to notify you that amendments to the proposals and other information have been submitted by the applicant and this are available to view on our website via: planning.cumbria.gov.uk (alongside the rest of the documentation relating to this application). The other information consists of a revised Environmental Statement consolidating and updating the previously submitted environmental information, and has been submitted under Regulation 22 of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2011.
I also give notice that this proposal would affect Public Rights of Way and the proposed development to which the application relates is situated within 10 metres of relevant railway land. The proposal also includes minor changes to the extent of the planning application boundary.
The main amendments to the proposal include the following:
- Avoid the use of the former anhydrite mine and flooded sections of the tunnels to this mineand instead use the upper unflooded sections of these existing tunnels and create two new
tunnels to enable access to the coal measures;
- Introduction of new paste plant associated with the disposal of reject material underground;
- Updated assessment of the impacts of subsidence;
- Updated surface water drainage proposals;
- Introduction of temporary structures/covers associated with the initial land remediationworks on the Marchon site;
- Increase in HGV traffic during the construction and operational phases.If you wish to view the amendments to the proposals, including the revised planning application, the plans, the revised Environmental Statement and other documents submitted, alongside the original planning application documents and the further information previously submitted by West Cumbria Mining Ltd, you can do so in the following ways:
- At the offices of Copeland Borough Council, Market Hall, Market Place, Whitehaven, CA28 7JG, during their normal opening hours;
- At Whitehaven Library, Lowther Street, Whitehaven, CA28 7QZ, during normal opening hours;
- At West Cumbria Mining Ltd, Haig Mining Museum, Solway Road, Kells, Whitehaven, CA289BG, during their normal office hours, and
- Online via our website at: planning.cumbria.gov.ukMembers of the public may obtain copies of the Amended Proposals and revised Environmental Statement by contacting:
The Applicant, West Cumbria Mining Ltd, Haig Mining Museum, Solway Road, Kells, Whitehaven, CA28 9BG (tel. 01946 848333 email: firstname.lastname@example.org) so long as stocks last, at a charge of £700.00 for a paper copy and £5.00 for a data disc or data stick copy. The Non- Technical Summary of the Environmental Statement is free of charge.
All representations that have been previously received by the County Council will be taken into account when determining this application. If you wish to make any comments about the amendments to the scheme or the revised Environmental Statement or any part of the planning application or submitted documents you can do so in writing in the following ways:
- On our website via: planning.cumbria.gov.uk
- By email to: email@example.com;
- By letter to: Development Control, Cumbria County Council, County Offices, KENDAL, LA94RQ
If responding via email or letter you must quote the above Planning Application Ref No: 4/17/9007.
If you wish to comment, please do so by 28 January 2019.
This planning application will be reported to the County Council’s Development Control and Regulation Committee in due course. I advise that you look at the County Council’s website to find out when the application is likely to be reported to the Committee for determination.
Your attention is drawn to the fact that any comments you may make on the application will be open to inspection by the applicant and any other person. They may also be included in a report on the planning application to the Development Control and Regulation Committee which will also be available for inspection by the public and press.
Mrs Rachel Brophy BA(Hons) MA MRTPI Planning Officer – Development Control
Oppose the coal mine plan – letter in the Westmorland Gazette
The new coal mine proposed under the Irish Sea is ‘not a threat’? (Letters July 5) True, it is not just one threat! Like a many headed hydra it promises a myriad of threats to wildlife, health, climate and the safe stewardship of Sellafield.
Despite this myriad of threats. Kent Brooks’ letter of support for the mine is evidence that the PR for this plan has been astonishingly successful.
So what is the threat to wildlife? RSPB and others have pointed out that the development has the potential to have an adverse effect upon the St Bees Head Site of Special Scientific Interest. through disturbance to breeding birds during excavations and coal processing.
The impacts from this vast mine on Cumbria’s troubled water resources and hydrology are also of great concern to human welfare, as well as that of wildlife.
What about the climate impacts that Kent Brooks believes are non existent? At a production rate of 2.8Mt/year the produced coal would generate 1.24Mt/year CO2.
Some of the CO2 would be produced in Cumbria and some at the locations of steelmaking where the coal is to be exported. Given that all countries are equally bound by the Paris Agreement and equally committed to reducing fossil fuel use – it is highly unlikely that steel manufacturers will be seeking to import Cumbrian coal. There is rapid innovation in steel-making processes to eliminate the fossil fuel component.
Kent Brooks says he does not understand why nuclear safety campaigners are so concerned about this plan.
This is why we are concerned –
at just 8km away from Sellafield (even nearer to Moorside) according to West Cumbria Mining, this development is ridiculously near to more than 140 tons of plutonium.
Increased tremors and quakes resulting from mining are well documented. Also well documented is the fact that there are large holding tanks at Sellafield containing thousands of litres of extremely radiotoxic fission products.
As well as nuclear wastes on teh Sellafield site there are radioactive wastes on the Irish Sea bed from ongoing and historic discharges.
Don’t take my word for it. All these threats can be read about on the submissions to Cumbria County Council on their website under planning application reference 4/17/9007.
Please do write to CCC before mid August and make your voice heard in opposition to this new coal mine plan which threatens Cumbria in a myriad of ways.
On behalf of Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole
NOTE: The planning meeting has been deferred again until the Autumn – so more time to get your objections in! You can write to the Senior Democratic Services Officer quoting planning application reference 4/17/9007 West Cumbria Mining
photo credit Climate Action
Fantastic news! Ireland is on course to become the first country in the world to divest from fossil fuel assets. The Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill brought by Irish Parliamentarian Thomas Pringle is set to become law by the end of the year.
I have sent a letter to the Irish Government congratulating them on backing the Bill and asking them to keep the Irish Sea safe from the plan for a coal mine deep underneath the fragile and complex Irish Sea bed.
Please do send them your own letter of congratulations and request that the Irish Parliament do all they can to stop this crazy plan for a coal mine under the Irish Sea.
email the Irish Parliament at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Houses of the Oireachtas
Planning Application 4/17/9007 –
First Deep Coal Mine in 30 Years and it is under the Irish Sea!
Thank you so much for backing the Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill brought by Irish Parliamentarian Thomas Pringle. For Ireland to be the world’s first country ever to divest public money from fossil fuel is truly a great achievement and something wonderful to celebrate.
It is therefore a terrible irony that in the same summer that Ireland pledges to divest from Fossil Fuel , the Irish Sea is being primed to become host to the first new deep coal mine (Woodhouse Mine) in the UK for 30 years. The plan is due to be heard by Cumbria County Council on August 23rd 2018.
There are many reasons to oppose this deep coking coal mine under the Irish Sea off St Bees on the Cumbrian Coast.
The developers, West Cumbria Mining, imply that coal used in steelmaking does not produce CO2 emissions. This is clearly not the case. WCM even claim to be reducing CO2 emissions compared to importing steel making coal from the USA. However the fact that the plan is to export most of the coal produced makes a nonsense of this claim. The energy used in running the mine itself and transport, the burning of the lower class of coal and the burning of the higher class coal in steelmaking is staggering. At a production rate of 2.8Mt/year the produced coal would generate 1.24Mt CO2. This is an Alice in Wonderland plan in many ways as there is rapid innovation in steel making processes to eliminate the fossil fuel component of steel, making coking coal redundant.
Proximity to Sellafield
At just 8km away from Sellafield (even nearer to the proposed new nuclear reactors at ‘Moorside’) this development is ridiculously near to over 140 tons of plutonium. Increased tremors and quakes resulting from mining is well documented The potential for man-made tremors at the Sellafield site is too awful to contemplate. There are~20 large holding tanks at Sellafield containing thousands of litres of extremely radiotoxic fission products.”
Sea Bed Subsidence and Resuspension of Radioactive Wastes from the Irish Sea Bed
The North Western Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority have submitted to Cumbria County Council that
“Offshore Subsidence – resuspension and dispersal of radioactive contaminants. The documentation has confirmed to NWIFCA that a risk of subsidence exists and therefore there remains an overwhelming concern over the potential for disturbance and resuspension of radioactive contaminants and sediments.”
Local campaigners Radiation Free Lakeland have recently sampled the beaches near Sellafield (Sellafield stops monitoring and retrieval of radioactive particles over the summer in order not to frighten beach users). A full one third of all random samples were found to contain cesium and americium in levels above that safe for human health. Any increase in radioactive particles being resuspended and brought back on the waves of the Irish Sea to Cumbrian and Irish shorelines is to be avoided.
I am writing to thank you on behalf of Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole for divesting from fossil fuels.
It is a Big ask but I would like to ask that you protect the Irish Sea (and so much more) by opposing the Irish Sea deep coal mine on behalf of Ireland.
With many thanks
On behalf of Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole
Another Cracking Letter from Anita in the Westmorland Gazette. In a long running exchange this is a reply to Kent Brook’s letter about the “need” for coking coal to provide steel for WMD etc. Whether or not you want nuclear WMD …there are other ways to make steel. To mine the coking coal you also need to mine the ‘middlings’ coal, off St Bees under the Irish Sea.
“MR KENT Brooks, (Letters, May 10, ‘Defence must be priority’) is, of course, entitled to his opinion about the proposed coal mine near Sellafield.
However, my opinion, having had a coal face worker in the family for many years, remains the same. Excavating a very deep coal mine beneath the Irish Sea, so close to Europe’s largest nuclear waste facility at Sellafield, is a risk too far.
Europe’s largest nuclear waste facility at Sellafield is a risk too far
In any case, we should not be mining coal at all, if we are serious about trying to mitigate climate change and rising sea levels.”
There is a petition to Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole