MP backs potash project

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WHITBY’S MP has welcomed the anouncement of the potash mine location and says it will totally switch the economics of the town.

Robert Goodwill, MP for Whitby and Scarborough, says the site at Doves Nest, off the B1416, is the best possible location but has also appealed for more environmental mitigation works.

Speaking to the Gazette, Mr Goodwill said: “The siting is probably as good as we can expect in terms of location and the way it can be screened.

“I hope the National Park Authority will look to see if there is anything more that can be done in terms of environmental impact. York Potash has been very keen to do everything they think they can but there may be other things they can do.”

Other than that he welcomed the project because of the employment benefits for Whitby people and especially because the types of jobs available in the town currently such as waitressing and cleaning are aimed at women.

The dynamics of the housing market in Whitby will also change because higher wages will mean more people can get on the property ladder.

He said: “If anything it might switch the balance in Whitby from holiday cottages to more people living in the community.

“I was talking to somebody from Boulby and they are on £44,000 a year. That would put housing within the Whitby area within reach of people working at the mine.

“While toursim is important it is not very good at generating jobs for men so the mine will have a financial impact on the local economy in terms of bringing in money to the area and people into the area that will be working rather than just enjoying the leisure here.”

Mr Goodwill has received a minimal number of letters from constituents who are opposed to York Potash’s plans and while he maintains they are “perfectly understandable” he feels the benefits far outweigh the negatives.

He added: “The fact of the matter is potash is beneath the ground in Whitby and we are very fortunate that we are going to have this massive investment and jobs coming in.”