A local and a national charity have united to highlight the shortcomings of proposed changes to plans for a potash mine in the North York Moors National Park. Campaign for National Parks and the North Yorkshire Moors Association consider the proposals from Sirius Minerals PLC for the development of the Woodsmith Mine take insufficient regard of the special status of the North York Moors National Park.
Revised proposals for the site undermine previous efforts to minimise the impact on the North York Moors. Revisions include:
• A significant increase in the size of a shaft building leading to a more pronounced industrial impact on the National Park landscape.
• The replacement of the temporary winding towers by rigs and a crane increasing the visual and audible intrusion in the surrounding area.
The two charities are also concerned over the lack of information and clarity provided about other changes to the development, particularly as this could lead to an increase in the size of spoil heaps.
National Parks have the highest levels of planning protections and developments in these areas must have regard for the conservation and recreational purposes of the National Parks. Campaign for National Parks and the North Yorkshire Moors Association believe that Sirius Minerals have not only failed to consider these purposes but have also increased the negative impacts of the Woodsmith Mine development through the latest proposals.
Ruth Bradshaw, Policy and Research Manager at Campaign for National Parks said: “We have raised concerns over the Woodsmith potash mine since the idea was first proposed in 2013. It’s really disappointing that the latest plans undermine the company’s previous work to reduce the impact of the development on the North York Moors. Once again Sirius have failed to take account of the extra care that must be taken in this sensitive location and therefore continue to put at risk our treasured National Park.”
Tom Chadwick of the North Yorkshire Moors Association, who will speak at the meeting 14 December, said: “Building a mine of this scale in a National Park is simply at odds with the whole purpose of National Parks. The changes that are now being proposed will degrade the special qualities of the National Park still further and we are beginning to see the impact of the development at the mine head site at what was Doves Nest Farm.”