Thank you for contacting me about the Whitehaven Coal Mine.
While the government places a strong emphasis on localism and decentralisation when it comes to planning applications, I am aware that Robert Jenrick, the Communities Secretary at the time, made the decision to ‘call in’ the planning application for the Whitehaven Coal Mine.
This decision was taken because of the further developments since his original decision. This included the publication of the Climate Change Committee’s recommendations for the Sixth Carbon Budget. It is also the case that local authorities are expected to make planning decisions promptly. The planning application for this development was first submitted to Cumbria County Council in May 2017 and was considered by their planning committee on three occasions, without a final outcome being reached.
A public inquiry was held and the outcome will be considered before any decision is made. I understand that the Planning Inspectorate’s report has been submitted to Michael Gove, the Levelling Up Secretary, for consideration.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.