CUMBRIA County Council has shared its Statement of Case ahead of the planning inspector’s deadline, now saying it is neutral with regard to the mine: neither for or against the application.

This comes after months of debate over the controversial plans for a new coal mine in West Cumbria.

In March, Robert Jenrick stated that he plans to ‘call in’ on Cumbria County Council regarding the proposed planning application for the mine.

The approval of which has been met with backlash over fears it would significantly increase greenhouse gas emissions.

Anti-mine campaigners welcomed the decision, including Friends of the Lake District who have stood against the mine.

Estelle Worthington, North West campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: “Once again, we see support for this controversial coal mine continue to fall by the wayside.”

“This only strengthens our position that it should never have been in the pipeline in the first place. We can fight both the climate crisis and unemployment by directing support to industries such as renewable energy. Now, as the time for public comments draws to a close, the case for dirty coal is at its weakest, both locally and nationally. Let’s put an to end this climate hypocrisy once and for all and leave Cumbrian coal in the ground.”