In 2014, WCM began working on its plans to develop a 21st Century, high quality metallurgical coal mine in the UK, near Whitehaven in West Cumbria, to supply the steel industry at home and overseas.
In May 2017, we submitted our planning application to Cumbria County Council (CCC). This was followed by extensive rounds of consultation with CCC, statutory consultees, key stakeholders and members of the local community.
On March 19th 2019 CCC formally approved planning for us to develop our project – to be known as Woodhouse Colliery. As is normal with project of this nature, as part of the planning approval being granted, CCC has set-out extensive planning conditions which we need to meet to enable us to move forward to the next phases of the development of the project. Over the coming months, we will continue to work with CCC to finalise and discharge those conditions, which will enable the project to progress to the pre-construction and construction phases.
We anticipate that site works will commence in early 2020, with coal production commencing around 24-months from the start of construction.
There were five broad stages to the planning process.
Preparing the Environmental Statement: Completed
Planning Application Submission: Submitted 31st May 2017
Planning Permission Granted: March 2019
Section 106 Sign Off
Final Formal Planning Award
What does the immediate future hold?
Now that we have received a positive planning outcome, over the coming months, our priorities will include:
- continuing to work with CCC to finalise and discharge planning conditions, which will enable the project to progress to the pre-construction and construction phases
- planning for our next series of update events, likely to take place in summer 2019. We will also produce regular newsletters to keep all stakeholders – local people, community groups, council members etc – informed of progress
- developing and finalising our recruitment needs and future job opportunities with a plan to launch our recruitment campaign during the second half of 2019
- developing and finalising our supply chain needs, with the launch of our prequalification process to those businesses already registered with us.
- The launch of new ‘register for employment’ programme for those interested in future jobs at Woodhouse Colliery that are not already registered on our database
- The launch of a new ‘work with us’ campaign to give businesses interested in becoming part of our supply chain who have not already registered the opportunity to register their interest in working with us
- Ongoing market studies and working with coal buyers
Further details and updates will be announced via emails to those registered with us, on our website and through our social media channels.