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Permission Granted for Judicial Review of Cumbria County Council's Approval of the Whitehaven Coalmine

Gregory Jones QC
Merrow Golden

Mrs Justice Lang DBE has granted permission to Marianne Bennett (a member of the campaign group Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole), for judicial review proceedings against Cumbria County Council’s decision on 31 October 2019 to ratify its previous resolution to grant planning permission (on 19 March 2019) for the development of a new underground metallurgical coal mine in Whitehaven, Cumbria. This would be the first deep coal mine to be built in the UK for 30 years.

The Claimant challenges Cumbria County Council’s decision on five grounds.  These grounds include that the Council failed lawfully to consider (i) the greenhouse gas emissions of the mining operations and (ii) the Net Zero target.

The judge granted permission to proceed with the judicial review on all grounds.  A substantive hearing date for two days is to be fixed to be heard in the high court in Manchester.  The judge also made an Aarhus costs cap order.    

Merrow Golden, is junior counsel for the Claimant, instructed by Leigh Day.

Gregory Jones QC is acting for the Interested Party, West Cumbria Mining Ltd, instructed by Ward Hadaway