Latest Objection to Coal Mine proposals 1st October

SLACC has today submitted this letter to Paul Haggin, the manager of development control handling this case, supported by a new letter from Professor Paul Ekins. See the summary blog below.

SLACC’s Second Objection – Woodhouse Colliery – Development of a new underground metallurgical coal mine. Planning Application 4/17/9007

  • On 01/10/2020 – We consider that the evidence that is available, continues to justify SLACC’s refusal of this outdated and now irrelevant planning application. SLACC was was also concerned that the late publication of information that formed a significant part of the applicant’s proposal, has prevented us from considering the proposals in detail, and in particular from consulting with our expert advisers.

Some points of our Second Objection included:

  • We endorsed again the expert opinion of Professor Paul Ekins, that none of the new evidence provided alters our conclusion that the proposed coal mine is likely to result in considerable additional global carbon emissions and will hamper the development and deployment of low-carbon technologies in the steel industry. SLACC objects in the strongest terms to the Council’s continued insistence on the “substitution myth”, to justify their stance that the GHG emissions from the “end-use” of the coal in steel making can be ignored, and that the proposed mine will have a beneficial impact on global GHG emissions.
  • Second, the Officers Report continues to underplay the speed with which European steel-making is working to turn away from Blast Furnaces. The evidence presented clearly shows that production of steel in the quality and quantity that is likely to be required by society will not require significant use of metallurgical coal in the coming decades”. This means that: the “do nothing” and “do something” scenarios in the EIA are still wrong; that perfect substitution will not occur; there will be additional GHG emissions, and that the coping Opinion requires these be assessed. If this were done it is clear that there would be a significant adverse impact on global climate change, which should have considerable weight in the planning balance. 
  • We were also concerned that the Council’s case for a need for, and economic benefit of considerable weight from, this coal has not been indicated by the evidence, and is not reasonable, and as a result the Council’s argument of wholly exceptional circumstances that outweigh the acknowledged harm to Ancient Woodland is also unreasonable.