York Potash – Views from our stakeholders on proposals for the world’s largest potash mine

  • Contributor information: CNP

The National Trust and the Campaign to Protect Rural England have written about their perspectives on the current state of play on the York Potash mine proposal in the North York Moors.

Peter Nixon, Director of Land, Landscapes and Nature at the National Trust, said the Trust was extremely disappointed that the Government had decided not to call-in the planning application for the potash mine development near Whitby, and give it the full scrutiny it deserves.

Writing in the Autumn edition of our membership magazine Viewpoint, Mr Nixon said that to have a development of this scale going ahead within a protected landscape set a worrying precedent over the future of all our National Parks.

“We do not consider there is sufficient evidence that the scheme would be in the national interest, and we have grave concerns over the irreversible damage that could be caused to the landscape and wildlife of the National Park, and its tranquility, dark skies and feeling of remoteness.

“In addition, the significant traffic impacts and the damage that could be caused to the local tourism economy appear to have been understated.

“We believe a proposed development of this size and complexity in a sensitive landscape, the implications of this development upon the special qualities of the Park and its designated status, and the precedent it sets for other large-scale developments in this National Park or others should have been rigorously examined by the Government.”

Emma Marrington, Senior Rural Policy campaigner at the CPRE, said she had been shocked by the decision to approve the application, particularly as the National Park planning officer’s report had highlighted that there was a conflict with both national and local policies.

“The fact that Government consequently decided not to call-in the application, the first major test of protection to our National Parks and AONBs since the General Election is outrageous.

“It’s easy for the Government to say it will protect our National Parks and AONBs but when it comes to choosing between protecting the nation’s finest landscapes and the economy, they seem happy to sacrifice natural beauty for short term, often illusory, economic gain. What will be the future of our finest landscapes be if this Government can be so easily swayed?”

We are expecting the North York Moors National Park Authority to issue the final decision notice for the mine in the next few days.  We will then need to decide whether we have grounds for a legal challenge.

Notes to Editors

There is a double page feature in our new Autumn edition of Viewpoint, our members’ magazine, which includes a report on the planning meeting on 30 June, attended by our Policy and Research Manager Ruth Bradshaw. To become one of our Friends and receive free copies of the magazine go to www.cnp.org.uk/join-us

For the latest campaign information on the York Potash application, go to www.cnp.org.uk/north-york-moors-potash-mine-threat