PLANS to build a £165m undersea coal mine in West Cumbria have been given the green lights.

The county council's planning panel today approved the project by West Cumbria Mining, which is expected to create more than 500 jobs and give a boost to the area following the collapse of the Moorside nuclear investment deal.

Coking coal will be extracted off the coast of St Bees, with a processing plant on the former Marchon site at Kells.

Conditions have been imposed on the approval, meaning mine bosses would be asked to pay towards the road network, a cycle path as well and restoration work to former mineworks as part of a raft of improvements to the area.

The mine had been due to go before the county council's planning panel last month, but the top tier authority said “outstanding issues” needed to be resolved before it could be put to members.