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Petition Stop Whitehaven Coal Mine in Cumbria

The UK have approved the first deep coal mine in 30 years. The effects of a coal mine will create a major setback in the British climate change efforts. The Government should revoke permission to mine on British soil.

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Dr. Laurie Michaelis, a climate expert at the IPCC, has said that emissions the mine could produce will contribute significantly to climate change.

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Government responded

This response was given on 22 March 2021

The planning application was called in by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on 11 March. His letter setting out the reasons for this decision can be found on Gov.uk.

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Policy for coal mining in Great Britain is set by the UK, Scottish and Welsh Governments through planning policy and legislation and the UK Government through coal licensing policy and legislation. To operate a coal mine an operator needs relevant rights and permissions including planning permission, a licence from the Coal Authority and consent from Mines Inspectorate, part of the Health and Safety Executive.

In general terms planning permission covers local social, economic and environmental aspects – i.e is this the right place for this activity? A coaling licence considers practicalities – can the mine operate in a way that is effective and financially underpinned to ensure that any land or property impacted can be compensated and the mine eventually closed in a safe and appropriate way. The Mines Inspectorate considers whether the operations can be undertaken safely.

Under current legislation (Coal Industries Act 1994) when considering a coal licence application, the Coal Authority needs to consider:

• Whether the applicant can finance coal mining operations and related liabilities?

• The nature of the land or property that may be impacted by subsidence and that damage can be properly compensated by the operator? and

• Whether the operation will be carried out by properly experienced people?

The planning application for Woodhouse Colliery was called in by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on 11th March 2021. Arrangements for a public inquiry will be made by the Planning Inspectorate in due course.

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

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At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament

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