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South Lakes MP urges House of Commons to reconsider coal mine plans

Plans for the new coal mine in West Cumbria were approved in March. Credit: West Coast Mining

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has urged the Secretary of State to abandon plans for a new coal mine in West Cumbria.

In the House of Commons on Thursday afternoon, Farron called for ministers to support him in rejecting the plans, which were approved by the Cumbria County Council in March.

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During a debate on climate change, the ex Lib Dem leader said: “If we’re serious about tackling climate change, we need to keep fossil fuels in the ground.

“And to that end, will she agree with me that the proposals for a West Cumbria coal mine should be cancelled – will she speak to her friend the Secretary of State for Local Government to whom I have written.

“And will she instead commit Government money from the Northern Powerhouse to create renewable energy jobs in West Cumbria instead.”

In response, the Energy Secretary Andrea Leadsom said she was delighted that the UK had moved from a 40% reliance on coal to just 5% today.

The West Cumbrian coal mine has caused debate in the region. Cumbria County Council say the mine will create employment opportunities, while campaigners continue to raise their concerns about the impact of the coal industry on the environment.