Business leaders say the mine will be the biggest private investment project in the North of England ‘by a billion miles’
One of Britain’s best-loved national parks is on the verge of being “industrialised” after a fertiliser company unveiled details of its plan to sink a huge potash mine, rural campaigners have warned.
Sirius Minerals says it will plough £2.4bn into the York Potash Project to build the mine to the south of Whitby in the North York Moors National Park in a move that will create more than 1,000 jobs.
Business leaders say the mine will be the biggest private investment project in the North of England “by a billion miles” and the firm’s economic forecasters say it will make an annual contribution to Britain’s economy of £2.3bn.
But the scheme is hugely controversial and has drawn fire from environmental groups, including the National Trust and the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).
It will see a 4,900ft mine shaft sunk at Dove’s Nest Farm, Sneaton, with a tunnel pumping polyhalite, a mineral fertiliser, 23 miles underground to Teesside, where it will be processed.
Katie Atkinson, a CPRE spokeswoman, said: “We are very concerned about any impact on the national park. This landscape is protected for the benefit of this generation and future generations to come. This mine is huge. With the structures that are being built, people will see an industrialisation of the landscape.”
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