Formal potash notice legal challenge bid ?

The Dove's Nest Farm site near Sneaton
The Dove's Nest Farm site near Sneaton

An environmental campaign group is considering legal action after the North York Moors National Park officially confirmed it had granted planning permission for a potash mine near Whitby.

The Campaign For National Parks group has six weeks to decide whether it will apply for a legal challenge in a last ditch attempt to halt the York Potash project set to be constructed at the former Dove’s Nest Farm at Sneatonthorpe.

A spokesperson said: “It is still not the end of the story as far as we are concerned.

“We remain convinced the project is completely incompatible with National Park purposes and the promised economic benefits do not justify the huge damage to the National Park’s landscape, wildlife and local tourism economy.

“Now that the formal decision notice has been issued we will be reviewing these to determine whether we have grounds for a legal challenge.

“This is a major undertaking for a small charity but something we feel we must consider given the significance of this decision for the protection of all National Parks.”

North York Moors National Park Authority issued the decision notice to grant formal permission on Monday.

It follows the landmark planning meeting in June where planning committee members voted eight in favour and seven against the mine and mineral transport system going ahead.

Chris Fraser, Managing Director and CEO of Sirius said: “We are delighted to be through this key approvals process and to now be moving into the delivery phase of this world class project.

“On behalf of everyone at Sirius, I want to thank the thousands of people who have supported the project to date and we look forward to beginning construction during 2016.”

A company spokesperson added the firm was finalising its definitive feasability study, continuing value engineering work with a number of contractors and the financing strategy is also advancing with a view to being put in place in early 2016.