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Hearing date set for proposed West Cumbria Coal mine

The legal challenges against the government’s approval of a new coal mine off the coast of Cumbria will be heard in London on the 16th to 18th July.

West Cumbria Mining Ltd’s application to extract 2.78 million tonnes of coking coal a year, right up to until 2049, was approved by the Conservative Government in December 2022. Two legal challenges to this decision have been awaiting a High Court hearing following the decision.

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One of the 5 grounds against the approval of the mine relies on the outcome of case relating to the downstream emissions from a proposed oil well at Horse Hill Surrey. West Cumbria Mining Ltd intervened in the Horse Hill case, hoping for a ruling that would set a precedent that allows the coal mine to go ahead. The Supreme Court Hearing for the Horse Hill case took place in June 2023, but the decision has yet to be announced.

The courts had said that the legal challenges to the proposed coal mine needed to be heard after the Horse Hill decision was given. This condition has now been lifted and the hearing will take place in July, irrelevant of when the Horse Hill decision is made.

Following the July hearing, the High Court judges will decide whether the government’s approval of the proposed coal mine is lawful. If it decides the decision wasn’t lawful a new decision will be required from the government which could be the end of this disastrous project.

Demonstrations are being planned in support of the legal challenges on the first day of the hearing in outside the court in London and in Whitehaven, Cumbria during the hearing. Keep an eye out on our upcoming events page for details when available.

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