Published: Thursday, 2nd July 2015
Plans for the world’s largest potash mine have been approved by members of the North York Moors National Park Authority (NYMNPA).
The mine head at Dove’s Nest Farm near Whitby and much of its associated infrastructure will be within the North York Moors, a sensitive and highly protected landscape.
Andy Wilson, Chief Executive of the NYMNPA said: “This decision is the culmination of hard work, of thorough examination and in-depth discussions of the largest planning application this National Park, and indeed any English National Park, has had to consider.
“I appreciate that there will be many disappointed by our decision, but members felt that the long term benefits for the local, regional and national economy were transformational.
This truly exceptional nature plus the measures proposed by the company to mitigate harm and deliver widespread environmental benefits to the Park over a long period of time tipped the balance in favour of approval.”
Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council has already approved part of the scheme proposed by Sirius Metal. Ryedale District Council and Scarborough Borough Council have supported the project because of its economic benefits.
The officers’ report to the planning committee argued that the proposals did not meet the “exceptional circumstances” required to justify the scheme given the environmental harm it posed. But they did not make a recommendation. Members voted eight to seven in the mine’s favour.
Part of the £1.7bn project is a new harbour which is the subject of a development control order application currently under consideration by the Planning Inspectorate as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NISP).