Potash mine plans submitted

York Potash aerial site layout for the mine
York Potash aerial site layout for the mine

The first formal planning application for a billion pound potash mine between Scarborough and Whitby has been submitted today.

York Potash, the firm behind the proposals, has this morning handed in its planning documents to the North York Moors National Park Authority.

The move is a major milestone in the project which if approved will create more than 1,000 direct jobs, and up to 1,800 jobs during construction.

The planning application for the mine, which will be located on the B1416 on the outskirts of Sneaton, is expected to be validated by the Park Authority next week, with a decision expected by May 2013.

Chris Fraser, managing director parent company Sirius Minerals said: “The York Potash Project will deliver an unrivalled level of investment for North Yorkshire, creating significant new jobs and improving local skills for generations to come.

“As a nationally significant project with many local benefits and we have been extremely grateful for the wide ranging support received during our extensive pre-application public consultations.

“A huge amount of technical work and studies have gone into the application and we believe that we have both put forward a robust planning case and set a new benchmark for sensitive design in the mining industry.”

Since plans for the mine were announced in January 2011 York Potash has undertaken extensive technical and geological studies, which have confirmed the North Yorkshire coast has the largest and highest-grade polyhalite deposits anywhere in the world.

The mine, which has been designed to minimise the visual and environmental impact of the operation, has received strong support from local people and the region’s leading business and tourism groups, as showed by the results of a public consultation launched in September last year.

As part of the consultation programme, 91 per cent of people responding were supportive of proposals with only eight percent undecided and less than one per cent against the new mine.