I will not attempt to hide my enormous disappointment that the Secretary of State has reversed his previous decision that the decision on whether to grant planning permission for a new mine to produce metallurgical coal should be a local decision for Cumbria County Council (CCC).
There is no doubt in my mind that a large part of the blame for this rests with the county council for putting the decision back to committee for a fourth time.
The Secretary of State has strongly hinted that the fact that nearly four years after the original version of the application was submitted CCC was putting the matter back to councillors again instead of resolving it was one of the reasons why he has decided to put it to a local public inquiry instead.
The Deputy Leader of Cumbria County Council and leader of the Lib/Dem group on the council has this evening this evening tweeted
"I welcome the fact that the decision on the Cumbria Coal Mine will now be going to a public Inquiry."
Peter Thornton may think that, but I don't. Permission could and should have been granted the week before last.