I follow with increasing incredulity the arguments presented by those opposed to the development of the potash mine near Whitby.
I am sure they are the views of a very small minority of our citizens, but the media coverage they receive and the delays to the start of the development they have been able to influence, is out of all proportion to their numbers.
It is surely time for the voice of the majority to be heard and, since the planning authorities seem to ‘sit on the fence’, the Whitby Gazette could do the community a great service by conducting a simple readership poll and give some of us the opportunity to influence the decision.
I am sure there would be a thumping majority in favour for four reasons.
1. With world population increasing and food prices forecast to treble in 20 years, the unlimited quantities of the precious mineral we are sitting on is going to be badly needed to increase agricultural produce. And don’t let us be fooled by those who, in order to sustain their opposition, claim the mineral is not needed and does not have the properties claimed.
2. The resource (polyhalite) is note used very much in agriculture at present, but studies have confirmed its value and there is no shortage of world wide demand for it when it is available - 1.7 tonnes a year at present. The development of this mine would therefore provide a boost to the national economy and a very big one for us locally. The creation of more jobs which are skilled and not dependant on the tourist trade would be a godsend to Whitby.
3. The demand from the ‘opponents’ to move the mine head to someone else’s back yard, frightening us with arguments that the national park landscapes will be despoiled, tourism decimated, road traffic problems created, pipelines which are unworkable, etc, are largely invention and will not be proven. The attention to detail evident in the developer’s plans to preserve the ecology and landscape of the areas involved are the most sensitive and comprehensive that anyone could wish for and the engineering problems of mining and pipelines have been successfully developed throughout the world. Claims that this is not so provoke ever more consultants to be employed to prove or disprove claims and the expensive bills, some of which have to be met by the taxpayers, are a waste of money and precious time.
4. I like to think the planning authority will have the courage to get on and approve the proposals without further expensive delay, but if not, I am convinced the Government must step in and make the decision for them. It is too important for the national and our local economy and world agriculture to be allowed to drag on indefinitely.
Our forefathers developed resources wherever they were found and there were few restrictions to constrain them. The North Yorkshire Moors are scattered with remnants of their endeavours and are visited from far and wide and admired as part of our history and testimony to their industry.
They would view with disbelief the difficulties facing our entrepreneurs of today, but I hope we are not going to fail them and fall short of their example of enterprise.
I have no doubt the protesters will be trowelling through the company’s share register to discover that I own shares and am therefore biased in favour of the scheme.
I am biased in favour for the four reasons given above, but also, like hundreds of other Whitby people, take pride in using my own hard earned savings to help to finance a major development which can enhance the health and life of this community and indeed the world.
Egton Road, Aislaby