North York Moors

The North York Moors National Park Authority (NYMNPA) in the UK has given approval to Sirius Minerals’ proposed £1.7bn potash mine.

Through its subsidiary York Potash, the UK company plans to dig a mile-deep shaft under protected moorland which overlooks Whitby and Robin Hood’s Bay.

NYMNPA chief executive Andy Wilson said: "Today’s 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.

"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."

Last week, various organisations opposed the potash mine project claiming that the mine’s economic benefits do not compensate for the harm caused by it.

"The new potash mine could create up to 1,000 job."

Twenty nine environment and amenity organisations have written a letter to the authority members urging them to reject proposals for the project.

Eight members of the authority voted in favour of the mine, whereas seven members voted against and acknowledged the considerable harm the project will have on the special qualities of the North York Moors, especially during the construction phase.

According to York Potash, the new mine could create up to 1,000 jobs.

The company will pay resources to compensate for the harmful impacts of the development over 100 years.

During the construction phase and beyond, the authority will work with the company to see the detailed conditions associated with the approval of the plans are met.

Image: Map of North York Moors National Park. Photo: courtesy of Lencer.