THE long-awaited planning application for a potash mine on the outskirts of Whitby was finally submitted yesterday.
It had been expected last Autumn but was put back because planners at the National Park demanded more detail and clarification from York Potash on wildlife and transport issues.
The plans are expected to be validated next week and a decision is set to be made in May as to whether construction of the mine can begin at Doves Nest farm on the B1416 near Sneaton.
It is a major milestone for York Potash who have spent months undertaking extensive technical and geological studies to confirm that the North Yorkshire coast has the largest and highest-grade polyhalite deposits anywhere in the world.
The firm hopes to create over 1,000 direct jobs when at full production and thousands of indirect jobs in the support and supply industries, as well up to 1,800 jobs during construction.
York Potash says that during its consultation programme it found 91% of people responding were supportive of proposals, 8% undecided and less than 1% against the new mine.
Chris Fraser, Managing Director and CEO of parent company Sirius Minerals said: “The York Potash Project will deliver an unrivalled level of investment for North Yorkshire, creating significant new jobs and improving local skills for generations to come.
“As a nationally significant project with many local benefits and we have been extremely grateful for the wide ranging support received during our extensive pre-application public consultations.
“A huge amount of technical work and studies have gone into the application and we believe that we have both put forward a robust planning case and set a new benchmark for sensitive design in the mining industry.”
Planners at the North York Moors National Park say they are ready to take on what will be one of the biggest developments within its remit for many years and have drafted in mining experts to help them formulate a decision.
Back in September the favoured location for the mine was revealed after a programme of test drilling in the area.
At the time Mr Fraser said there was no plan B if this site didn’t get the go-ahead.