SH July 20 Newsletter final - Flipbook - Page 15
However, in December, again before the decision was issued, judicial review
(JR) proceedings were initiated against the resolution of the Council made in
October to grant planning permission. It was alleged that the resolution of
the council was flawed for a number of reasons including the absence of a
greenhouse gas (GHG) assessment, and queries about the assessments of the
impacts of middlings coal.
Stephenson Halliday has assisted WCM in preparing a revised to its planning
application which was submitted in early May 2020. This revision was primarily
driven by the work to improve the processing of the coal so that the whole of
the washed coal output – c.2.8 million tonnes per annum, would be suitable for
use as steel making (metallurgical) coal i.e. not produce any ‘middlings’ coal. Metallurgical coal is a premium
product and this change serves to enhance the profitability of the project and further secure its significant
In revising the application, the opportunity has also been taken to provide a greenhouse gas assessment of
the project. The potential GHG emissions and impacts on climate change had not been ignored in the original
planning application. However, to avoid any assertion that the Council had insufficient information to make a
decision a GHG assessment was also provided.
The revised application and GHG assessment precipitated the withdrawal of the JR on 18th May. CCC will be
reporting the application back to committee, anticipated to be August, for further ratification of its previous
decisions. When a permission finally emerges there will, of course, be a 6-week period in which further JR
proceeding could be commenced.
The plight of the WCM application is perhaps one which is not uncommon for large scale developments.
Nevertheless, the WCM mine proposal is one which continues to enjoys significant local support and the
elected members of the DCR committee of the County Council are wholly supportive of the proposal.