Farm sale completed by firm behind £1bn mining operation

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DEVELOPERS behind plans for a £1bn mine in a Yorkshire national park have confirmed they have completed the purchase of land earmarked for the controversial scheme.

Directors at Sirius Minerals have finalised the deal to buy farmland near the village of Sneaton, to the south of Whitby, in the hope of creating a mine to exploit one of the world’s most extensive seams of potash, which is a key component of fertiliser.

Details of the sale of Doves Nest Farm, which is the site of the proposed mine in the North York Moors National Park, have not been disclosed. The farm will remain occupied and operational while blueprints for the proposed mine go through the planning process.

The managing director and CEO of Sirius Minerals, Chris Fraser, said: “There is no greater evidence of our determination to achieve the approval and completion of this project than our purchase of Dove’s Nest farm, the proposed location of the mine.”

The mine has been heralded as vital to boosting the Yorkshire coast’s economy and is expected to create more than 1,000 jobs and a further 4,000 jobs in the wider economy. But the project has been beset by delays and Sirius Minerals confirmed on Wednesday it is considering revoking a planning application for the scheme before new proposals are drawn up and submitted to the North York Moors National Park Authority.

The authority’s chief executive, Andy Wilson, has spoken of his fears the planning process could be hit by further delays as the company is looking to incorporate land outside of the national park’s boundaries in a new planning application, meaning North Yorkshire County Council will also be involved in the decision-making.