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Potash plan for North York Moors could be local goldmine
PLANS to develop a £1.7 billion potash mine in the North York Moors National Park could provide Ryedale with a massive boost to its economy, according to civic leaders.
York Potash has announced its preferred location for the new mine, as a site south of Sneaton village.
Coun Keith Knaggs, (Con), leader of Ryedale District Council, said: “The development of the mine could be hugely beneficial to Ryedale in providing more and better jobs.”
He said there was also the potential demand from the company behind the project, Sirius Minerals, and its employees for the services which Ryedale businesses can provide.
Coun Knaggs said: “Responding to the challenge of turning potential into reality will be a key task for the Ryedale economic action plan.”
Further backing for the proposal came from Ryedale’s chief executive, Janet Waggott, who believed there were many opportunities for the area.
“There will be thousands of well-paid jobs, with salary bands starting at £20,000 in a range of sectors,” she said.
“This starts in 2014 with construction, operation from 2017 and a lifetime of 50-plus years.”
Sirius has said that at full production, the project will directly employ more than 1,000 people with opportunities for skilled craftsmen and technicians, scientists, engineers, IT specialists and administrators.
York Potash which is due to formally submit its proposals to the National Park Authority, says it is committed to recruiting and training local people.
Ms Waggott said: “They have already made strong links with local training providers and schools in the Scarborough area, launched a careers guide and sponsored Scarborough Engineering Week. The company has a talent programme development programme to sponsor university students and provide paid summer placements.”
The company had said it needs staff for site works and plant hire, engineering and manufacturing, building and trades, logistics, accommodation and catering, training, safety and security and professional services such as planning, engineering, creative and corporate.”
Chris France, director of planning for the National Park, said: “The authority understands the significance of the proposals and will carefully assess the potential economic benefits as well as the environmental impacts before reaching any decision.
“The development of a new mine would be a major and complex undertaking and the impact of the national park environment is much wider than the surface buildings and structures.”
Robert Goodwill, MP for Scarborough and Whitby and a Terrington farmer, said: “Every efforts must be made to lessen the effects of the surrounding environment. But if its impact is handled correctly, the mine will be a massive boost for the local economy.”
• York Potash will give a presentation at the National Park Authority office in Bondgate, Helmsley, tomorrow (Thursday) at 1.30pm. Anyone who would like to attend can phone Fiona Farnell on 01439 772700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Once a planning application has been submitted there will be a period of statutory consultation with key stakeholders and local communities when the authority will organise further events.