On 30th June, the North York Moors National Park Authority held a Special Planning Meeting to discuss an application by York Potash to build the world's largest potash mine in the National Park. The Dartmoor Preservation Association worked with other Friends of the National Parks organisations and with the Campaign for National Parks, to oppose the mine.
After hours of deliberation, NYMNPA members voted in favour of the application. This has huge implications, not just for the North York Moors NPA, but for all of this country's National Parks and these are set out in the following Media Statement issued by the CNP:
Media Statement on the result of the North York Moors National Park Authority Special Planning Meeting to discuss York Potash application
Following the North York Moors National Park Authority decision today to approve the York Potash application, Ruth Bradshaw, Policy and Campaigns Manager at the Campaign for National Parks said:
"We're really disappointed that NPA members have approved the construction of the world's largest potash mine in the North York Moors. We have long maintained that this project is completely incompatible with National Park purposes and that the promised economic benefits could never justify the huge damage that it would do to the area's landscape and wildlife and to the local tourism economy.
"There was clear evidence of the planning grounds for refusing this project in the report produced by NPA officers but there has also been huge pressure for NPA members to approve a project which has been widely promoted as bringing employment to the area, even though many of the jobs will not go to local people.
"The only way to ensure that the full implications of this extensive proposal, with its multiple and complex applications, [are understood] is for there to be a public inquiry covering the whole of the York Potash project and for the final decision to be made by the Secretary of State. We called for such a public inquiry months ago as it would ensure that decisions are based on an accurate understanding of the overall costs and benefits of the whole project and would allow expert witnesses to provide evidence on some of the complex issues that need to be considered. Given there are strong planning grounds for refusing this application, we are confident that any public inquiry would result in today's decision being overturned so we can finally see an end to this threat to the North York Moors.
"As a last resort, we will also be considering a legal challenge of the decision, given that this is such an important test case of the protection for National Parks in national planning policy. We have six weeks to apply for a judicial review so we now need to decide whether there are grounds for such a challenge," she added.
Background information on the CNP's campaign work against the York Potash mine can be found at www.cnp.org.uk/north-york-moors-potash-mine-threat