The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has sent a letter to Cumbria County Council to ‘call in’ a controversial application for a new coal mine in Cumbria.
The letter explains that the Secretary of State has decided to call this application in because of further developments since his original decision.
These include the Climate Change Committee’s recommendations for the sixth Carbon Budget.
It notes: “The Secretary of State recognises that proponents and opponents take different positions on that matter, and considers that this should be explored during a public inquiry.
“Furthermore, controversy about the application has increased. Overall, the Secretary of State considers that this application raises planning issues of more than local importance.”
Environmental campaigners have hailed the decision by Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick.
Friends of the Earth Climate Campaigner Tony Bosworth said: “The Communities Secretary’s decision to call in this controversial coal mine is a startling, but very welcome U-turn.
“A new coal mine in Cumbria would not only wreck our climate, it would also destroy the UK Government’s credibility ahead of crucial climate talks in Glasgow later this year.
“Planning permission must be refused: ending coal use, whether for power generation or for industry, is crucial for facing down the climate emergency.”
ELN has contacted West Cumbria Mining, the developer of the project, for a response.