PLANS for the £1.5 billion York Potash project which seeks to create more than 1,000 jobs at a mine in the North York Moors have taken steps forward this week.

Yesterday, Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council unanimously voted to grant permission for the York Potash mine and its underground transport system which will take the potash mineral from the proposed mine near Whitby to a handling facility near Redcar, where it will be processed and sold as fertiliser.

The decision comes in the same week that Sirius Minerals, the parent company of York Potash, has had the first step in its application for harbour facilities at Teesport accepted by the Planning Inspectorate.

Bosses say a final decision on the harbour facility is expected in summer 2016.

The company is also awaiting decisions on its mine and mineral transport system application submitted to the North York Moors National Park Authority, as well as the the materials handling facility application, which has been submitted to Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council.

Chris Fraser, managing director and chief executive of Sirius, said: “We are delighted with the positive decision from Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council for this substantial part of the project and look forward to further progress with our other applications.

“The application is a significant part of the overall approvals required for the delivery of the project and an important step forward for Sirius.”