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Bennett v Cumbria County Council

Jurisdiction: High Court of England and Wales

Principle law(s): National Planning Policy Framework

Side A: Marianne Bennett (Individual)

Side B: West Cumbria Mining (Corporation)

Side B: Cumbria County Council (Government)

Core objectives: Whether the grant of permission for a new coal mine by Cumbria County Council was lawful

On 11 December 2019, the claimant filed an application for judicial review of Cumbria County Council's decision to grant planning permission for the development of a new underground metallurgical coal mine and associated development in Whitehaven, Cumbria. The claimants argued that the Council had failed to correctly apply the test for new coal projects set out in the National Planning Policy Framework. The challenge to the legality of the decision was based on the following grounds: the defendants failed to properly consider the GHG emissions from the mine and provide adequate reasons for their decision; the defendants failed to properly account for the impacts of "middlings coal" in the decision; the defendant failed to give lawful reasons for the imposition of a 15% restriction on the production of middlings coal; the defendant failed to consider the UK Government's Net Zero Target; and the defendant failed to comply with the relevant planning regulations.

The case settled in May 2020 after West Cumbria Mining, the project proponents, submitted a revised application for planning permission correcting several of the defects in the original application.

Case documents

Related laws and policies
  • GBR flag This law implements United Kingdom legislation
    National Planning Policy Framework

    Passed in Executive

    The National Planning Policy Framework sets out the Government's planning policies for England and how they should be applied in the context of local development plans and planning decisions. The purpose of the planning framework is to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development. One...

from the Grantham Research Institute
from the Grantham Research Institute
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