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    Gove gives go-ahead for controversial coal mine


    December 8, 2022 - By Martin Beckford Policy Editor

     

      BRITAIN'S first new deep coal mine in 30 years was given the go-ahead by the Government last night.

      The pit in Cumbria will be used to make coke for steel-making and so reduce dependence on imports, as well as creating hundreds of jobs.

      Michael Gove approved the Woodhouse Colliery project near Whitehaven after concluding it would not damage the environment.

      However, the Levelling-Up Secretary's decision was greeted with dismay by green campaigners and will trigger a fresh split in the Conservative Party, with senior MPs having previously spoken out against it.

      It comes days after he ended the ban on onshore wind farms, in the face of opposition from some Tories, and dropped central planning targets for housebuilding after another revolt. A spokesman for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities announced last night: 'The Secretary of State has agreed to grant planning permission for a new metallurgical coal mine in Cumbria as recommended by the independent planning inspector.

      'This coal will be used for the production of steel and would otherwise need to be imported. It will not be used for power generation. The mine seeks to be net zero in its operations and is expected to contribute to local employment and the wider economy.'

      But Labour's climate change spokesman Ed Miliband criticised the proposal.

      'This decision is no solution to the energy crisis, it does not offer secure, long-term jobs and it marks this government giving up on all pretence of climate leadership,' he said. 'Waving this mine through further cements Rishi Sunak as an out-of-date fossil fuel PM in a renewable age.'

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