Potash plans get go-ahead

Boulby Potash Mine is an existing site just north of Whitby.
Boulby Potash Mine is an existing site just north of Whitby.

PLANNING permission has been granted for two temporary drilling sites as part of Scarborough’s potash project.

Sirius Minerals has received approval for a further two applications for sites as part of its potash proposals to build a mine between Scarborough and Whitby.

The decision was made yesterday at a planning meeting of the North York Moors National Park Authority.

Commenting on the decision, Chris Fraser, managing director and CEO of Sirius Minerals, said: “We remain committed to taking these proposals forward in the right way and will seek to finish this stage of the project as quickly as possible.

“Ultimately this is a project of national importance and, with the right planning approach, one that could provide lasting and profound benefits to the local area.”

The two sites are located in agricultural fields at Silpho and off Waite Lane in Harwood Dale.

They follow the approval of two other sites in Ugglebarnby and Hawsker last month.

The temporary boreholes are required to extract cores of the potash minerals so bosses at Sirius can develop a picture of the underground conditions.

Once this work is complete it is planned more detailed proposals for the wider project will be developed.

Work is expected to last around eight weeks at each temporary drilling site, which will all be returned to their original condition after completion, according to developers.

Up to ten drilling sites in total are expected in total as part of this phase of the project.

Plans for the mine were revealed in January when 600sq km of mining rights between Scarborough and Whitby were sold to Sirius by York Potash.

Sirius, which has moved to an office on the Dawnay Estate business park at Wykeham to be close to the project, says the first plans for the mine could be submitted within 18 months to two years.