Potash mine project vital for region

From: Robert Goodwill MP, Andrew Jones MP, Julian Sturdy MP, Ann Mclntosh MP, Hugh Bayley MP for York Central.

WE write in support of the York Potash planning applications for the winning and working of polyhalite, including the construction of a minehead at Dove’s Nest Farm near Sneaton, Whitby, and an underground tunnel between the minehead and a materials handling facility land at Wilton, Teesside.

As Members of Parliament in North Yorkshire, we recognise this as a project of local, regional and national importance. The provision of long-term and skilled work is a priority for the region, and particularly in the area where the York Potash project infrastructure is located.

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The potential to add materially to the UK’s GDP, exports and balance of trade is most welcome and worthy of significant support. It is widely recognised that the country needs to re-balance its economy, with a greater focus on substantial economic growth in the North of England and a general move towards more export-driven industries.

The level of environmental mitigation adopted in the potash proposals is very high and addresses many of the concerns that have been expressed. In particular the proposed tunnel is a welcome alternative to a cut and cover pipeline. The benefits of the project will endure for many years not only in terms of local employment but will also secure a vital raw material for agricultural production both in the United Kingdom and at a global level.

The potash project represents a unique opportunity for the region and wider UK economy and we respectfully urge you to you to support these important proposals.

Who says we
need homes?

From: Barry Foster, Manor Cottages, High Stakesby, Whitby.

I READ with interest your small article on the proposed development of over 200 houses on the Sneaton Castle site here in Whitby. What information do they base this assumption of the need for social housing on?

Do they know how many houses in Whitby are just holiday lets and are empty most of the winter months? Schools will be needed and other social services.

Presumably the nursing home suggested will be for the ageing sisters at the convent. Nursing homes in Whitby are not full to capacity and there are other building sites around the town in other areas not quite as attractive.

Whatever one says, the development is purely for greed and no other reason. Who is really going to benefit, not the people of Whitby. The whole scenario is surely not a Christian action which is somewhat surprising as it is a religious order who will be the main ones to benefit.

The final display of contempt by Scarborough Council planning committee was to hold the meeting in Scarborough and not Whitby, where, after all, the people affected live.

Don’t pull up

From: Michael Clynch, Huddersfield Road, Ingbirchworth, Sheffield.

THER CPRE (The Campaign to Protect Rural England) believes that the national housing shortage can be addressed with no incursion into the countryside, which occupies about 90 per cent of land in England.

The CPRE seems to believe the countryside is a theme park for urban businessmen, few of them members of the CPRE, who live in our most attractive villages and small towns – get the drawbridge up quick!

Why should families in cities be pushed into previously developed industrial land, which is usually in the worst parts of our cities and towns for obvious and historic reasons.

Meanwhile, villages turn into geriatric enclaves with failing schools, pubs and shops.

Brownfield sites are often hugely expensive to improve to ever higher standards driven by European and UK public health agendas. Much countryside is at best very ordinary in environmental terms and can be developed economically to give people a chance of a decent home in fresh air with good facilities.

Old landowners built homes for their workers in fields and hamlets, many now sold off as second homes for the very sort of people demanding the rest of us shouldn’t go there.

Travel despair
strikes home

From: Ken Cooke, Ilkley.

JAMES Bovington’s despair at Northern infrastructure (City in need of Metro Rail, The Yorkshire Post, November 26) struck home with me.

I was driving on the Leeds ring road yesterday and encountered the frustrating ‘improvements’ to the Horsforth and Rodley roundabouts – “ready by June 2015”! Why are we bothering with such petty schemes? Leeds and Bradford should have M25- equivalent ring roads.

And then there’s the ludicrous plan for a trolleybus in Leeds. Compare that with the many billions spent on the Jubilee Line and Cross Rail in London. We need effective metro rail connections right across the North. Like James – I despair.

Is the problem that we Northerners are too careful with money? Well, we should jolly well get on and spend it on our infrastructure like Londoners do.

Tesco troubles
no surprise

From: Tim Mickleburgh, Boulevard Avenue, Grimsby.

I’M not surprised that Tesco isn’t doing so well these days. Whenever I go to my local Tesco Extra store there’s inevitably only one person on the till, and a queue waiting to be served. So needing to catch a bus, I leave the shop make my purchase elsewhere. Hardly a shining example from Britain’s biggest grocer.