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Date will be set ‘shortly’ for reconsideration of West Cumbria mine plan

Aerial CGI of Woodhouse Colliery mine site

A senior county councillor has confirmed a date will be set “shortly” for the reconsideration of the proposals for a new coal mine in West Cumbria.

Celia Tibble, the county council’s cabinet member for the environment, addressed fellow council members on the proposed coking coal mine at Thursday’s full council meeting.

Mrs Tibble, who is a Labour councillor for the Seaton, said that the decision to reconsider the planning application from West Cumbria Mining was taken in light of the report on the sixth carbon budget from the Government’s climate change committee.

She said: “The recommendations of the report have yet to be considered or ratified by UK Government, but may have implications for the planning merits of this case.

“Legal and technical planning advice regarding this new information was considered before the decision to return to the council’s development control and regulation committee was reached.

“Officers will confirm a date for the committee to consider the application shortly.”

Mrs Tibble was pressed by Conservative councillor for Egremont North and St Bees, Chris Whiteside, for more details, in particular whether there was any other reason for the decision “besides the advisory committee recommendation on the sixth carbon budget referenced in the challenge from Richard Buxton [Solicitors] on behalf of South Lakes Action on Climate Change, which he shared on Facebook?”

Mrs Tibble responded that she had been “advised that any question asked on the West Cumbria Mining, because of the sensitivity of the issue”, would have to be responded to in writing.

“I know that will be disappointing to you, but that is the legal advice I have received,” she said.