SUPPORTERS of a new coal mine in West Cumbria say the scheme is a “generational opportunity” and one that will help the area “prosper both nationally and internationally”.

West Cumbria Mining’s (WCM) revised application for the plant at the former Marchon site and Pow Beck Valley in Whitehaven was approved yesterday.

Cumbria County Council’s Development Control and Regulation Committee reached the decision – with 12 out of 18 members approving the scheme.

Although members granted approval, they cannot formally give the development permission yet as the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is considering whether to make the final call.

Emma Williamson, councillor for Kells and Sandwith, said WCM was offering an opportunity which should be “seized with both hands, adding the creation of 500 skilled jobs with appropriate levels of pay was a “life-changing” boost for the local community.

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