SLACCtt has now submitted our objection to West Cumbria Mining’s application for a “new underground metallurgical coal mine” at Whitehaven.
We commissioned expert witnesses which showed that the coking coal from the development is NOT essential for the continuation of the UK Steel industry during its transition to a decarbonised and sustainable future. More evidence from SLACC (and others) showed that the claim that WCM’s “coal would replace coal that would have been extracted or exported from elsewhere” is false. We have asked Cumbria CC to make it clear to the councillors that the application is shot through with errors and should be refused.
We hope you can help support our objection.
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Presented below are a number of key areas that need to be considered with regard to the proposed Coal Mine.
1. Impacts on Climate Change
SLACC have shown that WCM DO need to consider the Greenhouse Gases (GHG) resulting from use of the coal, that WCM has hugely under-estimated the operational GHG, the Environmental Statement is “shot through with errors”, and the S106 Agreement offered DOES NOT make the proposal acceptable.
2. The “NEED” for coking coal
A key “pillar” of “pro-mine” Councillors and public figures is the insistence that “you can’t make steel without coal”. WCM accepts the incentives for steel decarbonisation, but tries to argue West Cumbria coal will be needed to 2070. This is not true.
3. Impact to Marine Conservation Zones
There are two MCZs off the Cumbria coast. Potential for subsidence, (or minor earthquakes), and mobilisation of chemical and radioactive sediment on the sea bed hasn’t been properly challenged.
4. Economic Benefits
Cumbria County Council have to “weigh any unacceptable impacts” against the national and local economic benefit. WCM claim there would be 500 jobs for 50 years, but SLACC shows this is highly unlikely, and the local benefit is outweighed by the GHG emissions, damage to Copeland’s strategic plan for “Renaissance through Tourism” and loss of Ancient Woodland. There is no UK national economic benefit because 87% of the coal would be exported.
Please see the supporting documents for a more detailed breakdown of the issues.
SLACC Submissions to Cumbria CC
Here you can find SLACC’s full objection and appendices to the WCM planning application.
Other Key Objections Submitted
The application can still be viewed at http://planning.cumbria.gov.uk/ Application Ref No: 4/17/9007. You can still object but it might not get into the Committee Report now.
We’ve had some great responses from a range of key stakeholders that object to the mine. Here are a sample.
West Cumbria Mining Documentation
Here you can find key planning documents submitted by WCM. Feel free to read them and decide for yourself whether it’s a sustainable proposal.