Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has decided to ‘call in’ Cumbria County Council’s controversial decision to grant planning permission for a new coal mine.
In a letter to Cumbria County Council, the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government said Mr Jenrick believed the application had raised issues of ‘more than local importance.’
The letter states that: ‘The Climate Change Committee’s recommendations for the 6th Carbon Budget have been
published since he was advised on this decision. The Secretary of State recognises that proponents and opponents take different positions on that matter, and considers that this should be explored during a public inquiry.’
The development means ministers will take control of the planning process.
Friends of the Earth climate campaigner Tony Bosworth said: ‘The Communities Secretary’s decision to call in this controversial coal mine is a startling, but very welcome U-turn.
‘A new coal mine in Cumbria would not only wreck our climate, it would also destroy the UK government’s credibility ahead of crucial climate talks in Glasgow later this year.
‘Planning permission must be refused: ending coal use, whether for power generation or for industry, is crucial for facing down the climate emergency.
‘It was not possible for the government to maintain, as it claimed only two months ago, that this was just a matter of local importance and the decision will now rightly be taken at national level.’