Object to a new 50-year coking coal mine in Cumbria
11th June 2020
39

West Cumbria Mining want to dig an underground coking coal mine (coal for steel) under the sea near to Whitehaven, Cumbria. If approved the mine would produce 2.78 million tonnes of coal per year for fifty years, mainly for export to European steel works.

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Update 25th June 2020 – the planning hearing was scheduled for the 8th July 2020.  Cumbria County Council has said, “Due to unprecedented numbers of representations being received on this application, including some received after the Consultation deadline and some that have contained new evidence, the Council has decided to postpone taking this application to the Development Control and Regulation Committee for a decision on 8th July in order to properly consider all representations and documentation received.” Thank you for all your objections. 

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The mine was approved last year, but has been re-submitted for re-approval because of a legal challenge brought by local group Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole.

Learn more about coking coal (for steel) and the history of the battle against ‘Woodhouse Colliery’ here.

We have only until 15th June to send objections!

How to Object

It doesn’t need to be long, or super knowledgeable. It needs to show you care. Three sentences is enough but you can make it more detailed and persuasive with some of the extra info below.

We’ve teamed up with 38 degrees to make it really easy for you to object.

Click here to send your objection

OR email your objection to development.control@cumbria.gov.uk and and copy in info@coalaction.org.uk . You must include Application Ref No: 4/17/9007 and your postcode.

Start your email with:

I am opposed to the Woodhouse Colliery because….

What to Write

Include some reasons you’re opposed to a new coal mine starting.

Pick one or two and say it in your own words.

Stop the Climate Emergency
  • We cannot mine and burn 2.5 million tonnes of coal per year up to 2070 and avoid catastrophic climate change.
  • The mine is not compatible with climate crisis goals including the Paris Agreement.

If you want to add more detail…

Talk about why the climate crisis matters to you. Be passionate!

The judgement against Heathrow has shown that the Paris Agreement is legally enforceable in the UK, meaning that large scale, long-term high carbon projects like this one could face legal challenges.

The company has said that only their on-site emissions (at the mine itself) should be considered, not the emissions from where the coal is burned. But this is unlawful according to the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations. See South Lakes Action Against Climate Change legal letter to Cumbria County Council.

Help the Green Steel revolution

If you want to add more detail…

Steel manufacturing using coal is a very polluting process. For every tonne of steel produced using coking coal, two tonnes of CO2 is released.

We don’t need coal in steelmaking. While steel remains a much used material in the construction of many infrastructure projects, it does not have to be produced using coal. Metallurgical coal can be replaced with natural gas in a process called Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) which creates about 40% less CO2 emissions than steel produced using coal. Globally natural gas based DRI already accounts for 5% of steel making.

In order to further reduce emissions steel making techniques are developing quickly, with the Hybrit project from SSAB, LKAB, and Vattenfall aiming to begin production of fossil-free steel as early as 2026 using hydrogen instead of natural gas.

Cumbria County Council has pledged to become carbon neutral
  • Approving the Woodhouse mine would make this impossible. 
  • The company claims the mine is ‘carbon neutral’ but this has been proven incorrect.
  • The council need to invest in long-term low-carbon jobs, not coal mines

If you want to add more detail…

The company’s claim to be carbon neutral is based on a false claim that coal extracted domestically ‘displaces’ coal that could be extracted and imported from elsewhere, rather than adding extra coal to the market which will add additional CO2 emissions. Professor Paul Ekins of the UCL institute of sustainable resources explains why what the company says is false: “There is no evidence to suggest that coal from the new mine would result in reductions in coal extracted from mines overseas. Basic economic theory suggests that […] an increase in the supply of a commodity such as coking coal will reduce the price of the commodity, leading to increased demand, and therefore increased emissions.”

The company argues that coal in steel can be made carbon-free using Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) but this is not likely to be available at scale, whereas coal-free steel alternatives (above) are.

There are many other reasons to object, such as impacts on the local marine life, local economy and more detailed planning arguments, see South Lakes Action on Climate Change

Thank you

This really works! Thanks to those of you who wrote objections to our other campaigns in the past 12 months, two other coal mine applications: Dewley Hill and West Bradley were slowed down, giving local campaigners more time to make their voices heard.

Coal for energy is on the way out, and coal for steel and industry is the next big battle. We’re glad to have you with us.

Click here to send your objection

OR email your objection to development.control@cumbria.gov.uk and and copy in info@coalaction.org.uk . You must include Application Ref No: 4/17/9007 and your postcode.

39 comments

  1. Martin Robert Davis

    We cannot mine and burn 2.5 million tonnes of coal per year up to 2070 and avoid catastrophic climate change.
    The mine is not compatible with climate crisis goals including the Paris Agreement.

    1. Thank you Martin. Your comment will not count unless it is sent forward to Cumbria County Council. In case you haven’t already done so, please be sure to address your comments to development.control@cumbria.gov.uk and copy in info@coalaction.org.uk . You must include Application Ref No: 4/17/9007 and your postcode.
      Thank you for your support!

  2. Francesca Raimondi

    I am opposite to the Woodhouse colliery because it would have a catastrophic impact on hour planet ecology and it would cause further deterioration in our planet condition that a will cause in a neither so long term human extinction . It is a huge topic on how we need to stop CO2 emission and try to go towards a 0 emission, green way to produce energy and the opening of this facility instead goes against all the principle we should follow to safe our planet

    1. Thank you Francesca. Your comment will not count unless it is sent forward to Cumbria County Council. In case you haven’t already done so, please be sure to address your comments to development.control@cumbria.gov.uk and copy in info@coalaction.org.uk . You must include Application Ref No: 4/17/9007 and your postcode.
      Thank you for your support!

  3. I am opposed to the Woodhouse Colliery because I am opposed to the Woodhouse Colliery because….We cannot mine and burn 2.5 million tonnes of coal per year up to 2070 and avoid catastrophic climate change.
    The mine is not compatible with climate crisis goals including the Paris Agreement
    The company’s claim to be carbon neutral is based on a false claim that coal extracted domestically ‘displaces’ coal that could be extracted and imported from elsewhere, rather than adding extra coal to the market which will add additional CO2 emissions.

    1. Thank you. Your comment will not count unless it is sent forward to Cumbria County Council. In case you haven’t already done so, please be sure to address your comments to development.control@cumbria.gov.uk and copy in info@coalaction.org.uk . You must include Application Ref No: 4/17/9007 and your postcode.
      Thank you for your support!

  4. With or without a pandemic, this is not the way for1ward. Opening a coalmine is in fact going backwards, the pollution has been proved. No way

    1. Thank you Jacqui. Your comment will not count unless it is sent forward to Cumbria County Council. In case you haven’t already done so, please be sure to address your comments to development.control@cumbria.gov.uk and copy in info@coalaction.org.uk . You must include Application Ref No: 4/17/9007 and your postcode.
      Thank you for your support!

  5. Climate change. Global warming. Too much carbon in the atmosphere. Stop adding to it. My children’s and your children’s future. Have a care, stop using carbon based fuels. Thankyou.

    1. Thank you Mike. Your comment will not count unless it is sent forward to Cumbria County Council. In case you haven’t already done so, please be sure to address your comments to development.control@cumbria.gov.uk and copy in info@coalaction.org.uk . You must include Application Ref No: 4/17/9007 and your postcode.
      Thank you for your support!

  6. Application Ref No: 4/17/9007
    CF11 9PZ .

    The time for energy production that relies on fossil fuel has, unless you missed it, ended. Energy is now better produced more cheaply by sustainable sources and technologies. It is an unfortunate fact (to coal and oil producers) that the first year in which a majority of our electricity was produced from sustainable (on CO2 producing) sources for UK, is now well behind us!
    The dirty industrial processes like coal mining must now reinvest in sustainable energy production if we are to survive as a species. The threat such industry poses to community health, doubles the risk of Covid-19 pandemic, both are threats to our lives and point to fundamental and unsustainable parts of our way of life and the systems that underpin them. The extractive and profit driven approach that disregards planetary life and its resources, now pose the most serious threat in our entire existence.
    We must relearn how to live on this planet and immediately move to sustainable sources of free energy. Fortunately, there is plenty of the stuff around. New industries are busy learning how best to efficiently capture these energy sources.
    Steel production and the coal industry that supports it like everything else on the planet must yield to science where our best understanding of climate change has emerged. Our economics and political systems must now harmonise with earths bio system and rhythms. With no humans, there are not profits. Try very-hard to think about these uncomfortable truths.

    1. Thank you Glen. Your comment will not count unless it is sent forward to Cumbria County Council. In case you haven’t already done so, please be sure to address your comments to development.control@cumbria.gov.uk and copy in info@coalaction.org.uk . You must include Application Ref No: 4/17/9007 and your postcode.
      Thank you for your support!

  7. We cannot mine and burn 2.5 million tonnes of coal per year up to 2070 and avoid catastrophic climate change.

    The mine is not compatible with climate crisis goals including the Paris Agreement.

    The judgement against Heathrow has shown that the Paris Agreement is legally enforceable in the UK, meaning that large scale, long-term high carbon projects like this one could face legal challenges.

    The company has said that only their on-site emissions (at the mine itself) should be considered, not the emissions from where the coal is burned. But this is unlawful according to the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations. (See South Lakes Action Against Climate Change legal letter to Cumbria County Council)

    1. Thank you Stuart. Your comment will not count unless it is sent forward to Cumbria County Council. In case you haven’t already done so, please be sure to address your comments to development.control@cumbria.gov.uk and copy in info@coalaction.org.uk . You must include Application Ref No: 4/17/9007 and your postcode.
      Thank you for your support!

  8. Roger Wilson-Tucker

    Dear Team,

    It is difficult to know what to say about the proposed development, because its undesirability is so obvious. In general, I would support a project that would provide employment and income to an area that much needs it, provided that people be willing to accept the health risks inherent in such work. The proposed development, however, is so clearly inimical to the Council’s own stance on the matter of carbon footprint, that it is astonishing that the Council could even contemplate granting permission.

    On a wider scale, it would undermine, in no small way, national and international efforts to reduce global warming. Even the working of the mine would require increased infrastructure, in the form of roads and building, and greatly increased traffic.

    Despite the temptation to use a local resource, the damage that the development would cause vastly outweighs the benefits. Has anyone asked the developer to offer an environmental- impact assessment that demonstrates a net benefit to the cause of reducing climate change?

    Yours sincerely,

    1. Thank you Roger. Your comment will not count unless it is sent forward to Cumbria County Council. In case you haven’t already done so, please be sure to address your comments to development.control@cumbria.gov.uk and copy in info@coalaction.org.uk . You must include Application Ref No: 4/17/9007 and your postcode.
      Thank you for your support!

  9. Stop the Climate Emergency
    We cannot mine and burn 2.5 million tonnes of coal per year up to 2070 and avoid catastrophic climate change.
    The mine is not compatible with climate crisis goals including the Paris Agreement.
    Cumbria County Council has pledged to become carbon neutral
    Approving the Woodhouse mine would make this impossible.
    The company claims the mine is ‘carbon neutral’ but this has been proven incorrect.
    The council need to invest in long-term low-carbon jobs, not coal mines
    Help the Green Steel revolution
    Steel plants are now the biggest single-site emitters in the UK.
    The technology is available to make steel without coal, securing steelworkers’ jobs into a fossil-free future.
    If there is coal available to burn for steel until 2070, it will prevent or delay the shift to clean steel, locking us into a climate-wrecking industry for decades.
    Finally there is impacts on the local marine life and of course the local economy!

  10. Stop this abomination. Haven’t you seen enough, learnt anything about what we are doing to our planet. The next disaster might one we don’t get out of.

    1. Thank you Keith. Your comment will not count unless it is sent forward to Cumbria County Council. In case you haven’t already done so, please be sure to address your comments to development.control@cumbria.gov.uk and copy in info@coalaction.org.uk . You must include Application Ref No: 4/17/9007 and your postcode.
      Thank you for your support!

  11. this is not saving our planet or leaving our kids a green space RETHINK

    1. Thank you Arthur. Your comment will not count unless it is sent forward to Cumbria County Council. In case you haven’t already done so, please be sure to address your comments to development.control@cumbria.gov.uk and copy in info@coalaction.org.uk . You must include Application Ref No: 4/17/9007 and your postcode.
      Thank you for your support!

  12. I object to any new coal mines . We are at a time facing bad climate change and air pollution . Coal mines are not needed and are a global threat . Application Ref no. 4/17g007 is relevant .

    1. Thank you Keith. In case you haven’t already done so, please be sure to address your comments to development.control@cumbria.gov.uk and copy in info@coalaction.org.uk . You must include Application Ref No: 4/17/9007 and your postcode.
      Thank you for your support!

  13. Please WAKE UP to the climate emergency. Mining coke has to stop. Burning fossil fuels is a major contributor to global warming and YOU KNOW IT! Put your energies into finding green solutions and join the rest of us who are fighting for the survival of the planet and its biodiversity. Please stop your short term harmful mining aspirations and find other things which provide local employment and a sustainable future for all.

    1. Thank you Angela. In case you haven’t already done so, please be sure to address your comments to development.control@cumbria.gov.uk and copy in info@coalaction.org.uk . You must include Application Ref No: 4/17/9007 and your postcode.
      Thank you for your support!

  14. At a time of climate emergency take the lead please in putting fossil fuels in the past for the sake of people and planet.
    THANK YOU.

    1. Thank you David.. In case you haven’t already done so, please be sure to address your comments to development.control@cumbria.gov.uk and copy in info@coalaction.org.uk . You must include Application Ref No: 4/17/9007 and your postcode.
      Thank you for your support!

  15. Elizabeth Meekins

    We cannot mine and burn 2.5 million tonnes of coal per year up to 2070 and avoid catastrophic climate change.
    The mine is not compatible with climate crisis goals including the Paris Agreement.
    And I am he grandaughter of minor but coal is no the way ahead for a cleaner climate.

    1. Thank you Elizabeth. Please be sure to address your comments to development.control@cumbria.gov.uk and and copy in info@coalaction.org.uk . You must include Application Ref No: 4/17/9007 and your postcode.
      Thank you for your support!

  16. Dear Cumbria council

    I am Bitterly opposed to the latest Woodhouse Colliery plans.

    As an occasional visitor to the N W of England, I am
    Indeed sickened by the news that you are even considering permitting the mining of coal on the scale planned by Woodhouse Colliery and West Cumbria Mining Who want to dig an underground coking coal mine (coal for steel) under the sea near to Whitehaven, Cumbria. If approved the mine would produce 2.78 million tonnes of coal per year for fifty years, mainly for export to European steel works.
    Learn more about coking coal (for steel) and the history of the battle against ‘Woodhouse Colliery’ here.

    How to destroy a beautiful part of the world! How to make this Earth uninhabitable for current and future generations. You should be ashamed that you are even considering it. When the science is So Very clear.

    OR email your objection to development.control@cumbria.gov.uk and and copy in info@coalaction.org.uk . You must include Application Ref No: 4/17/9007 and your postcode.

    Start your email with:

    What to Write

    Include some reasons you’re opposed to a new coal mine starting.

    Pick one or two and say it in your own words.

    Stop the Climate Emergency

    We cannot mine and burn 2.5 million tonnes of coal per year up to 2070 and avoid catastrophic climate change.
    The mine is not compatible with climate crisis goals including the Paris Agreement.

    1. Thank you Cathy. If you haven’t already done so please be sure to address your comments to development.control@cumbria.gov.uk and copy in info@coalaction.org.uk . You must include Application Ref No: 4/17/9007 and your postcode.
      Thank you for your support!

  17. Please stop the re-opening of this coalmine! We need GREEN solutions, otherwise the human race will not be here in a couple of hundred years.

    1. Thank you Susan. If you haven’t already done so please be sure to address your comments to development.control@cumbria.gov.uk and and copy in info@coalaction.org.uk . You must include Application Ref No: 4/17/9007 and your postcode.
      Thank you for your support!

  18. I am writing to object to the application to establish a coal mine under the sea near Whitehaven because it will not be carbon neutral. Taking one and a half million tons of coal for burning every year until.2070 will do grevious injury to the global environment and will be contrary to the Paris accords.

    1. Thank you Tony. If you haven’t already done so please be sure to address your comments to development.control@cumbria.gov.uk and copy in info@coalaction.org.uk . You must include Application Ref No: 4/17/9007 and your postcode.
      Thank you for your support!

  19. Come on now. You are flying in the face of Science and society. There are many more jobs in the environmental industries than in a coal based economy. There is no sustainable or sensible reason for 100 year old energy concepts in the 21st Century.

    1. Thank you Simon. If you haven’t already done so please be sure to address your comments to development.control@cumbria.gov.uk and copy in info@coalaction.org.uk . You must include Application Ref No: 4/17/9007 and your postcode.
      Thank you for your support!

  20. Please stop this proposed greedy short sighted project. This not only affects the people of Cumbria it affects the world population. We need to lose our addiction to hydrocarbons and find clean renewable energy solutions. If humans did the seemingly impossible and travelled to the Moon they can find solutions to the need for clean renewable energy.

    1. Thank you Chris. If you haven’t already done so please be sure to address your comments to development.control@cumbria.gov.uk and copy in info@coalaction.org.uk . You must include Application Ref No: 4/17/9007 and your postcode.
      Thank you for your support!

Comments are closed.