Councillor cleared over setting up firm as £1bn potash mine planned

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POLICE have decided to take no further action against a former senior councillor over an alleged failure to register a minerals company set up in the wake of a planning application for a huge £1bn potash mine in North Yorkshire.

Tim Lawn, former planning chairman of North York Moors National Park Authority, set up Hollybush Minerals in October last year but did not formally record his interest in the company until the following March.

It is understood police concluded Mr Lawn, also a former Scarborough councillor, may have technically breached the law by failing to register the company promptly but there was no criminal intent.

Until March, when he stepped down from both public bodies, Mr Lawn was chairman of the national park’s planning committee considering proposals for highly lucrative mining of potash.

Landowners in the area, including Mr Lawn, could receive millions of pounds for mineral rights if the plans go ahead. But he took no part in any of the planning meetings discussing the ongoing York Potash application. Last night he said he was relieved by the outcome and added: “It’s been a very upsetting cloud hanging over me and my family.”

North Yorkshire Police said: “Following a referral from Scarborough Borough Council, North Yorkshire Police have carried out a detailed assessment in relation to allegations concerning a former Scarborough Borough Councillor and the alleged failure to declare a pecuniary interest. North Yorkshire Police can confirm that no further action will be taken in relation to this matter.”