Mineral group is set up to fight for local landowners

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AN ASSOCIATION of mineral holders is being set up for the benefit of local landowners as plans for potash mining in the area gather pace.

It was unanimously agreed as a way forward, following a meeting hastily called last Thursday to discuss the potash situation which could see a planning applicaton for such a mine being submitted by September this year.

The Yorkshire Coast has some of the best seams of potash in the UK which means farmers and landowners, from small holdings to those with hundreds of acres, could be sitting on land from which the mineral will be extracted.

They are being urged to become members of the group which will be known as Yorkshire Coast Minerals Association.

There are four main strands to the group – to be a completely independent organisation, to provide a united front in future negotiations, to be able to call on expert advice for members in issues such as taxation and wealth management and to provide a reliable flow of information between members and potash companies.

A working group has been set up and is putting together terms of reference which will be reported back at the end of next month.

It is thought they will include that membership is voluntary and confined to those who have registered, a committee will be formed to represent the group and that administration will be carried out by Richardson and Smith, agents which specialise in agricultural matters.

Robert Smith said: “We recognise that as a body we will have potentially more clout in issues to do with planning which inevitably will come up at some point.

“At some point minerals will have a financial value, at the moment it is difficult to assess the value.

“In the case of a farmer, he may have looked at the farm of being the only asset but he has an extra asset, potentially, in mineral rights.

“Whatever value these minerals have, it could affect his decision making for his family and generations to come.

“If this mine is as close as we are led to believe minerals will have a significant value.”