By Rachael Grealish
Copeland’s MP has said she will ‘put everything I have’ in making the West Cumbria mine go ahead despite news the Government has called in its plans.
Yesterday evening, Thursday March 11, it was announced by Robert Jenrick the decision on plans for the Whitehaven coking coal mine should be made at a national level – rather than returning to Cumbria County Council’s development control and regulation committee as previously agreed.
Both Tim Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, and Mark Jenkinson, MP for Workington, gave varying comments – one in support of the decision and one against.
But many Copeland residents were eager to hear what their own member of Parliament had to say about the controversy as the mine will be situated in that constituency.
In a statement to The Herdwick News Harrison said she is still ‘determined to secure’ the mine.
She said: “I remain determined to secure Woodhouse Colliery and along with senior leaders across West Cumbria my focus is preparing for the planning inspectorate process, demonstrating our environmental and UK industrial arguments.
“Clearly when WCM issued their intent to pursue legal action against Cumbria County Council for unacceptable delays they were crystal clear who they feel is ultimately to blame.
“My community has demonstrated their disappointment today, this should send a strong message that we have not given up on WCM and we hope they don’t give up on us.
“It is now for the planning inspectorate to make a final decision and I’ll put everything I have into that process.”
Cumbria County Council also released a statement in the decision saying they are ‘considering the details and preparing for the public inquiry process’.
A spokesperson said: “The council received a letter from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government yesterday 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.
“The council is now considering the details and preparing for the public inquiry process.”