Park Authority will decide

An artist's impression of how the mine will appear'submitted image
An artist's impression of how the mine will appear'submitted image

YORK Potash will have to convince the National Park that its project is in “the public interest” if it hopes to be given the go-ahead.

The potash project will be put to the ‘Major Development Test’ as the National Planning Policy Framework 2012 states that “major developments in designated areas should be refused”.

Even comparatively small scale developments such as changing the type of windows or converting barns to homes get refused if members feel it is not right for the area.

York Potash will have to show the mine is in the public interest as well as demonstrating to the North York Moors National Park Planning Authority (NYMNPPA) there is a need for the development and what the implications of developing elsewhere would be.

Chris France, director of planning, has said previously that planning permissions granted for the test drilling are no indication the mine itself will get the go-ahead.

Following the announcement of the proposed location this week he added: “The development of a new mine would be a major and complex undertaking and the impact on the National Park environment is much wider than the surface buildings and structures.

“Before members make a decision, the authority will need to look at the development as a whole and consider a wide variety of issues including transport and energy needs, implications for housing and local services, ways of dealing with spoil from the mineshaft as well as proposals for the pipeline to cross the National Park.”

But Chris Fraser, Sirius’ chief executive remains confident and says deliberations over the application should go beyond what it looks like.

He said: “uPVC windows are not of national importance.

“This entire area has been shaped by mining over the centuries and is a crucial part of the history and a crucial part of how it goes forward.

“To refuse it will be going against something that is needed and against the views mainly of the local community based on the reaction we have had so far.

“National Park committee members are there to represent the people who live in the area and their secondary duty is to provide socio-economic benefits for the people who live in the Park – they have a duty to do that.”