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To: Cumbria County Council

Stop the Coal Mine in Cumbria

Stop the Coal Mine in Cumbria

"Keep the coal in the ground and do Whitehaven, Cumbria and the planet a favour. Turn down this coal mine!"

Why is this important?

Cumbria County Council had unanimously granted planning permission to West Cumbria Mining for exploitation of the reserves of "premium" coking coal up to 550 metres under the Irish Sea bed. But the developers, West Cumbria Mining, have now submitted an amended plan . In this new plan lower quality middlings coal would not now be a "by-product" but would be 'processed' on site into coking coal.

Nowhere in the UK has there been deep mining in over 30 years.

The good news is that there is now a renewed opportunity for the County Council to overturn their previous terrible decision.

Granting permission for a new coking coal mine under the Irish Sea would fly in the face of the Council's own climate, environment and health commitments.

What are people saying?

Wainwright's Coast to Coast Walk
This coal mine would be situated at the beginning of the world famous Coast to Coast walk at St Bees Head "I have the pleasure of enjoying the first small section of Wainwright’s coast to coast on my doorstep. A tourist asset that you should protect. I am appalled that Cumbria County Council (CCC) has allowed this green space in Pow Beck to come under threat with a large coal yard." Martin Kendall- Local Resident

High Costs of Production
"I was astonished to see a proposal to open a deep coal mine in a coalfield which had high costs of production and at a time when the climate emergency demands the phasing out of coal".
Robert Wharton. Operational Research Scientist with National Coal Board 1967 to 73. Former consultant with KPMG often advising clients on the viability of investment projects.

Sellafield is just 5 miles away.
"Jem Bendell, the author of the widely read paper Deep Adaptation points to the very real danger of human extinction from nuclear catastrophes, due to societal collapse as a result of climate chaos. However, to date, nuclear catastrophes have all taken place in highly organised societies which have made bad decisions. This proposed new coal mine so near Sellafield must rate as the worst decision yet". Marianne Birkby - Radiation Free Lakeland

Impacts of Climate Change
"Extinction Rebellion West Cumbria is appalled at the recent decision by Cumbria County Council to ratify their decision to open a new deep coal mine. The impacts of climate change are being felt by communities across the planet. Decisions such as this can no longer be seen in isolation and must be challenged." XR West Cumbria

Ecological and Economic Damage, Human Suffering and Loss of Life
“If it proceeds, the mine is likely to result over its lifetime in greenhouse gas emissions amounting to something of the order of one year of UK national emissions. The impacts of these emissions could include considerable ecological and economic damage, as well as human suffering and loss of life.” Laurence Michaelis Expert Reviewer for the IPCC

Adverse Effect on Nesting Seabirds
"Disturbance of nesting seabirds during construction and operation... The development has the potential to have an adverse effect upon the St Bees Head SSSI through disturbance to both breeding and wintering birds during construction and operation." RSPB

“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.”
North Western Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority

How it will be delivered

Cumbria County Council have received "Unprecedented Numbers of Representations.." so the scheduled date for the planning meeting of 8th July has been postponed. A BIG Well Done to Everyone who has written in Opposition - please keep writing and opposing in every way you can.

St Bees, Saint Bees, UK

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL

Reasons for signing

  • My father grew up in Whitehaven and my Grandparents lived there their whole lives. Please do not introduce coal mining in this beautiful part of the UK
  • Fossil fuels are so last century. Eco nightmare
  • A backwards step which diverts attention away from renewable energy


2020-07-28 15:19:01 +0100

Alfred Wainwright famously called Calder Hall an “atomic carbuncle.” That was in the halcyon days when the nuclear sprawl at Sellafield was so much smaller. There are so many reasons to stop the new coal mine next door.

2020-06-24 21:52:38 +0100

Cumbria County Council have received an "Unprecedented Number of Representations" over the Coal Mine Plan. Due to the New Evidence received in some of those representations the Council is postponing the scheduled meeting of 8th July in order to consider the new evidence. This is due in no small part I think to the work of Tim Deere-Jones on this briefing into Radiological Impacts. It was sent to the Development Control Committee and Parish Councillors in Allerdale and Copeland - many of whom have asked for hard copies - for them to ask for hard copies is unusual in my experience!

2020-06-12 13:34:24 +0100

Springwatch - this was taken last year ahead of the meeting where the councillors ratified the decision to go ahead. Now we have another chance to get this coal mine stopped - Apologies for video quality but you get the gist...

2020-06-12 13:30:55 +0100

1,000 signatures reached

2020-06-12 13:27:07 +0100

The Birds of St Bees say "Thank You" to those fighting to protect the last nesting place in the UK of the Black Guillemot

2020-06-10 22:38:14 +0100

500 signatures reached

2020-06-07 23:33:56 +0100

100 signatures reached

2020-06-07 15:08:29 +0100

Please write to the Planning Committee before June 15th to tell them to Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole!! The main points to make are that this mine would fly in the face of the Council’s own climate commitments and its own stated commitments to protect the health and well being of all Cumbrians. Send an email to [email protected] – quoting the application reference number 4/17/9007 and including your name and address.

There is more info here :

2020-06-07 11:17:29 +0100

50 signatures reached

2020-06-07 09:44:48 +0100

25 signatures reached

2020-06-07 08:20:29 +0100

10 signatures reached