Despite the recent final approval of the York Potash Project by the authorities, campaigners are still fighting against building a big mine in a UK national park saying that their fight is not over yet. The mine in North Yorkshire will be the first potash mine in the United Kingdom for 40 years and it will use the latest technology to extract polyhalite, a unique multi-nutrient form of potash. The project is expected to ensure UK potash supplies as well as give a boost to the local, regional and UK national economies with special emphasis on job creation. Major part of the anticipated polyhalite output as well as extraction of other minerals will also be imported.
The formal approval notice was published on 19 October along with more than 1,300 project-related documents but the campaigners showed no sign of abating. A Campaign for National Parks spokesperson commented that “the issuing of the formal decision notice for the York Potash planning application is another key step for this project but it is still not the end of the story as far as we are concerned.” They also stressed that campaigners “will remain convinced that the project is completely incompatible with national park purposes and that the promised economic benefits for the surrounding area do not justify the huge damage to the national park’s landscape, wildlife and local tourism economy.”
Opponents of the project now have six weeks to apply for a legal challenge. In contrast, many local residents support the construction of the mine in hope that it will boost economic growth in the region. York Potash estimates that the project could create about 1,000 jobs and would provide many economic benefits to the national economy.