Cumbria County Council has decided to hold a ‘neutral’ position on the application of a new coal mine.
The application is regarding the development of a new underground metallurgical coal mine in Cumbria.
The announcement comes after the Secretary of State decided that the development should be discussed as part of a public inquiry.
Publishing its Statement of Case, the local authority said: “The council has now decided that its position on the application is one of neutrality, neither supporting the application nor opposing it.”
A Cumbria County Council spokesperson said: “The council received a letter from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government on 11th March 2021 informing us that the Secretary of State has decided to ‘call-in’ the planning application submitted by West Cumbria Mining Ltd and to hold a public inquiry.
“Consequently, the application will now be determined by the Secretary of State.
“Cumbria County Council has submitted a statement of case on 5th May 2021 in line with the requirements of the public inquiry and is committed to supporting the planning inspector to determine the application.”
Estelle Worthington, North West campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: “Once again, we see support for this controversial coal mine continue to fall by the wayside.”
“This only strengthens our position that it should never have been in the pipeline in the first place. We can fight both the climate crisis and unemployment by directing support to industries such as renewable energy.“