PROTESTS over plans to build a new deep-sea coal mine in west Cumbria have continued as it is set to be discussed this week.

County councillors are being recommended to approve the application from West Cumbria Mining to develop the new mine off Whitehaven on Friday, but environmental groups are demanding that the government intervene to block it. They claim that it is inconsistent with the UK target of becoming carbon-neutral by 2050.

Supporters of the £160million plan say it would create 500 jobs and would reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, because less fuel would be burnt transporting coal by rail from Cumbria than shipping it from the United States.

Members of Extinction Rebellion Cumbria took to the water for their latest creative protest in opposition to the Woodhouse Colliery plans.

At Waterhead, near Ambleside, protesters got in their kayaks with signs expressing their desire to see a future that isn’t reliant on coal.

One protester, Gwen Harrison, said: “The idea of developing a new coal mine in 2020, as climate scientists warn we must keep almost all the world’s fossil fuels in the ground to avert climate catastrophe, is utter madness.

“The development of this coal mine is incompatible with the UK’s legally binding obligations under the Paris Agreement, and with our survival as a species.”

The coal mine just off the coast of Whitehaven would produce coking coal which is primarily used in steel production.

The protesters have been engaging in demonstrations ahead of Friday's meeting for a few weeks in a bid to raise awareness about the climate crisis. They recently staged a topless protest outside the council offices in Kendal and have done photoshoots to highlight the rising sea levels.

Rhod Vaughan, another protestor, said: “Cumbria County Council still doesn’t recognise that we’re in a climate emergency. Parts of Cumbria, including Workington, Walney Island, Maryport, Barrow and the Solway Coast, will be underwater by 2050 from annual coastal flooding.

“This will be from the more frequent and severe storm surges that we’re going to see, on top of progressive sea level rise.

“The very significant increase in emissions associated with this coal mine will contribute directly to this devastation.”

Friday's meeting can be attended online – visit