National Park members gearing up for biggest decision in its history

The Doves Nest Farm site near Sneaton ''w133010b
The Doves Nest Farm site near Sneaton ''w133010b

Within 24 hours planning bosses will be starting deliberations on the biggest application that has been put to them in decades.

A special meeting of the North York Moors National Park planning authority gets underway at 10am tomorrow (Tuesday) to consider York Potash’s application to build a potash mine on a former farm site at Sneatonthorpe.

There are 22 members that make up the authority and who will have the job of making the all important decision, but the Gazette understands that three members have already given their apologies and won’t be present at the meeting.

The planning committee is made up of representatives appointed by the local councils and the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

For North Yorkshire County Council they are Mr D Chance of Whitby; Mr B Griffiths, Middlesbrough; Ms H Moorhouse, Great Ayton; Mrs C Patmore, York.

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council Members are Mr C Massey, Eston; Mr M Dick, Brotton and representatives from Ryedale District Council are Mr J R Bailey (Chair), York and Mrs J Frank Kirkbymoorside.

Scarborough Borough Council Members are Mr D C Jeffels, Scarborough; Mr H Tindall, Danby; Mr D Hugill of Middlesbrough is the Hambleton Council representative.

Secretary of State Appointed Members are Ms A Fisher of York; Mrs J Mitchell, Scarborough; Ms Sarah Oswald, Malton; Mr A Scott, York; Jeremy Walker, Thirsk.

Secretary of State Appointed Parish Members are Mr L Atkinson, Scarborough; Mr M Bowes, Stokesley; Mrs E Dent, Pickering; Mr E Sanderson of Egton

The chairman of the committee is Mr Jim Bailey and the deputy is Mr M Bowes.

In front of them will be proposals for construction of a minehead at Dove’s Nest Farm involving access, maintenance and ventilation shafts, the landforming of associated spoil, the construction of buildings, access roads, car parking and helicopter landing site, attenuation ponds, landscaping, restoration and aftercare and associated works.

In addition, there are plans for construction of an underground tunnel between Dove’s Nest Farm and land at Wilton in Teesside that links to the mine below ground.

The Authority’s director of planning Chris France has prepared a 229 page document that will be discussed at the meeting at Sneaton Castle.

There are limited places at the meeting but proceedings are being shown via tv screen in an adjacent room and also streamed on the internet via the Authority’s website