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Plans for Britain’s first deep coal mine in 30 years are set to be ditched

Plans for Britain’s first deep coal mine in 30 years are set to be ditched amid concerns over its impact on the environment

  • Plans to dig Britain’s first new coal mine in 30 years look set to be scrapped
  • Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng cited ‘compelling reasons’ to block the mine
  • Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said an inquiry would look at application

Controversial plans to dig Britain’s first new coal mine for 30 years look set to be ditched by the Government.

There are ‘very compelling reasons’ to block the application for the mine on the Cumbrian coast, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said yesterday.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick had said a public inquiry would examine the application for the deep mine near Whitehaven.

There are ‘very compelling reasons’ to block the application for the mine on the Cumbrian coast, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng (pictured) said yesterday

Mr Kwarteng was asked why he was not stopping the development, which would extract 2.7million tonnes of coal a year from the seabed for steel production. 

He said: ‘Essentially what we’ve done is pretty much that. We’re looking at it, it is part of a planning process.

‘Initially, I think the relevant secretary of state [Mr Jenrick] said he wouldn’t go against the local planning decision, but he is now looking at that again and I think there were very compelling reasons to do as the CCC [climate change committee] suggested and not open the mine,’ he said on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

Asked if he was saying it should not open, the minister said: ‘What I said was that we’re going through a process, it is a legal process, a local planning process, and the Secretary of State for Local Government is reviewing that situation.’

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick (pictured) had said a public inquiry would examine the application for the deep mine near Whitehaven

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick (pictured) had said a public inquiry would examine the application for the deep mine near Whitehaven

The apparent rejection was welcomed by environmentalists who said opening a coal mine was wrong when the UK is holding the UN Cop26 climate summit this year. 

Dr Doug Parr, of Greenpeace UK, said it would ‘tarnish the Government’s credibility as the host of an absolutely crucial climate summit’.

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