A national asset that needs protection from mining plans

Have your say

From: Ruth Bradshaw, Policy and Research Manager, Campaign for National Parks.

IT is extraordinary that the letter from MPs supporting York Potash’s planning application at Dove’s Nest Farm did not once mention that the chosen location is well inside the North York Moors National Park (The Yorkshire Post, November 29). This is one of Britain’s most spectacular and important landscapes.

Government policy is very clear about the limited circumstances when major development is allowed in a National Park and those do not apply here. For example, the UK is 100 per cent self-sufficient in potash so it cannot be argued that there is a national need for the mine.

If the project goes ahead, there will be huge disruption during the five years of construction. We know times are hard and jobs are desperately needed but there is no guarantee that these new jobs would go to local people. Why would York Potash propose building a construction village for workers if they aren’t expecting the majority of them to come from outside the area?

We hope that the NPA members understand the significance of their decision better than their local MPs. Rejecting this project would send a clear message that the planning system continues to offer strong protection to National Parks.

From: John Senior, Skelmanthorpe.

HOW wonderful to read a letter from five MPs (The Yorkshire Post, November 29) that was full of common sense and also unafraid to oppose the views of powerful minority lobby groups.

The first 18 years of my life were spent amid the deep mines, “muckstacks”, opencast mines, clay pits and textile mills of the old West Riding: an area that had provided Britain with some of the profits which had enabled it to be called “Great” in more ways than one. When I returned in 1972, it was to find that most of the old industry had disappeared or was about to do so. Now apart from one “day oil” (drift mine), a little opencast clay working and the odd mill, the old industry has gone and the countryside has healed itself of the old scars.

Is it now too much to ask that other areas should take on the baton and allow their resources to be accessed for the common weal? Let the potash mine go ahead in the old North Riding and also allow one or two “fracking” wells to be sunk, monitor the outcome and, if this is satisfactory, let the South as well as the North contribute to our raw materials and the future prosperity of the UK.