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Ministry of Defence want assurances over North York Moors mine
4:34pm Wednesday 13th March 2013 in News
DEFENCE bosses have asked for assurances that a £1.5bn potash mine will not compromise international security by interfering with sensitive radar equipment.
The Ministry of Defence has submitted a holding objection over York Potash’s plans to mine potash from beneath the North York Moors, not far from RAF Fylingdales.
A public meeting held in Ravenscar near Scarborough today was told the Ministry of Defence had voiced fears potential subsidence could affect the radar base.
National park bosses said they would now need to seek assurances that the scheme would not compromise national and international security.
The York Potash Scheme is designed to sink workings up to 1,700m deep under 253 square km of the national park, creating more than 1,000 jobs. It will also bring local landowners £1bn in royalties over the first 50 year lifespan of the mine.
National Park Head of Development Mark Hill said: "The MOD say that really the radars they have are very, very sensitive and they have concerns about the building of shafts down to 1.7km - and the possibility of future subsidence impacting.”
Speaking after the meeting, Gareth Edmunds, head of external affairs for York Potash, said they were confident they could address the Mod’s concerns.
He said: “They want more information which we’re confident we can provide. We have a meeting scheduled with them to discuss it.”
Holding objections had also come in from Natural England and the Environment Agency, calling for more information about potential impacts.
Mr Hill said while the planning application - due to be determined by the national park on May 21 - ran to thousands of pages there was not enough detail about certain aspects, such as potential risks to underground streams.
"There are major concerns for hydrology and there is maybe not enough information in the application," Mr Hill continued.
"We will be going back to York Potash for more information.”
National park resident Sarah Husband was one of a number to make impassioned pleas to the planners to create jobs for future generations.
She said: "At the moment, I don't see any jobs in this area that my sons could possibly apply for.
"If you turn this down we will just see this area become a museum. If you want to live in a museum go to Beamish.
"This is a working, living place where people need jobs and farming is in decline."
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