Fresh comments have been submitted for a deep coal mine to be created in West Cumbria.

West Cumbria Mining (WCM) is behind plans to extract coking coal off the coast of St Bees, with a processing plant on the former Marchon site at Kells.

The plans were submitted in May 2017, but now the firm is proposing a change in the way it plans to process the material, meaning only premium metallurgical coal will be processed.

Changes to its application mean the plant would now only produce premium metallurgical coal. There will no longer be a middlings coal by-product.

WCM said the by-product middlings was a lower value material than would have been generated by the original design of the processing plant.

A consultation by the county council closed earlier this month, but opinions are divided on the proposals.

Cumbria Wils Life Trust is among those opposing the development. Stephen Trotter, the trust's chief executive, said: "The proposed development is likely to undermine the UK’s (and European) efforts to reduce absolute carbon emissions and the UK’s ability to meet its commitments under the Climate Act 2008, and the Paris Agreement, 2018."

"An overwhelming body of scientific evidence demonstrates the direct links between carbon emissions, climate breakdown, sea level rise and impacts on already declining biodiversity. Cumbria is at significant risk from the direct impacts of climate change, particularly through sea level rise and the increased likelihood of extreme weather events. Cumbria Wildlife Trust believes that the wider environmental consequences of the proposed new coal mine should be the key consideration in the evaluation of risks and benefits of the application."

However Natural England said the proposal "will not result in adverse effects on the integrity of any of the designated sites in question."

WCM says the operations of the mine are not expected to affect the UK in meeting its current carbon budgets, however they have agreed to review and reassess the anticipated greenhouse gas emissions every five years.

And St Bees Parish Council believes there are environmental benefits to the project: "The project will bring very significant economic benefit locally by providing both skilled and unskilled employment directly and in supporting businesses. The parish council also recognises the environmental benefits of developing a brownfield site which hitherto was part of a chemical plant."