Controversial plans for the world's biggest potash mine to be sunk in the North York Moors National Park are to be submitted today.
The firm behind the £1bn scheme near Whitby, says it would create 1,000 jobs, but critics say it would blight one of the region's finest landscapes and pave the way for other large scale developments in Britain's national parks.
The mine would target the world's largest untapped reserve of polyhalite - a mineral which is used as fertiliser to boost crop yields.
North York Moors National Park officials said today the mine is believed to be the largest ever major development proposal submitted to a National Park Authority in England.
If operating today at full capacity of 13 million tonnes of polyhalite ore per year, it is understood that the mine would be the world’s largest potash mine in terms of the amount of potash extracted.
The plan involves the construction of two 1,500 metre deep mine shafts on land at Dove’s Nest Farm, near Sneaton, four miles south of Whitby.
Also planned is a 250 metre deep tunnel running 23 miles from the mine site to Wilton on Teesside where the extracted mineral would be granulated for export.
The tunnel would have an access shaft at Dove’s Nest Farm and three intermediate access points on the route to Wilton, one within the national park, near Egton, the second just outside the park boundaries near Lockwood Beck Reservoir and the third near Guisborough.
The Authority understands the significance of the proposals and will carefully assess the planning considerations of the development which will include the environmental impacts and economic benefits. We will approach the new application with an open mind and the proposed development will be determined in the context of our local plan policies and government policy which is that major development should not take place in National Parks unless there are exceptional circumstances of public interest. I want to assure people that we will take all relevant considerations into account before reaching any decision.
We believe we have a compelling planning case that clearly demonstrates that the York Potash Project can deliver exceptional economic benefits, not only locally here in North Yorkshire and in Teesside but also for the wider UK economy.
We have planned the project with a very high regard for the environment and where possible minimising associated impacts. However, it is now for each authority to determine the applications according to the relevant policies and we keenly await their decisions.
A decision on whether to grant the mine permission is expected next year.
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The majority of people in the North East don’t know what to do in a power cut and wouldn’t consider checking on a neighbour.
This comes from independent research commissioned by Northern Powergrid, the region’s electricity power distributor, which has found that eight out of 10 people don’t know who to call if their lights go out and seven out of 10 people wouldn’t check on a neighbour during a power cut.
With winter approaching and the increased risk of adverse weather, the company which owns and manages the region’s electricity network has launched a campaign to encourage its customers to be prepared.
The campaign sees Northern Powergrid informing people how to contact its contact centre to report a loss of power or seek advice, and ensure they are ready in the event of a power cut.
The electricity distributor is also urging people to check on neighbours and relatives during a power cut, particularly those who may be elderly or infirm, and encouraging those who may need extra support to sign-up to its Priority Services Register.
There is amazement at Northumbrian Hedgehog Rescue in Longframlington, Northumberland, because two albino hedgehogs have been taken there for rescue.
The first hedgehog was brought in and named 'Tughall' by the rescuer. Now, a second albino hedgehog 'Albert' has arrived. Staff at the centre say to find two of these rare hedgehogs is 'astonishing'.
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Church Commissioners have announced that they are accepting a £2million bid by the Auckland Castle Trust to save Binchester Roman Town.Read the full story ›
The mild summer weather means there will be an increase in spiders this autumn. The eight-legged critters have had plenty of insects to eat - and now, they're heading indoors to mate.
Apparently, this year is going to be a very good autumn for our eight-legged friends, with bigger than average spiders set to appear in our homes over the coming weeks.
Joshua Shrimpton reports:
The mild summer weather means there will be an increase of spiders this autumn.
The eight-legged critters have had plenty of insects to eat - and now, they're heading indoors to mate.
Most are harmless house spiders, males on the hunt for females. The mating season starts now and carries on until December. Experts, though, say they are good to have in the house as they keep your insects down.
Councillors in Scarborough will meet to discuss plans to control the area's seagull population
Concerns were raised over the summer after a record number of complaints of them dive-bombing and menacing locals and visitors.
Councillors in Scarborough will meet later today to discuss plans to control the area's seagull population.
Concerns were raised over the summer after a record number of complaints about the birds menacing locals and visitors.