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NYMNPA Potash Public Meeting – Helmsley [Part 2]

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NYMNPA/POTASH Public Meeting – Helmsley, 19th March [Part 2]

Part 2 of Vanda Inman’s full report on the North Yorkshire Moors National Park Authority Public Consultation Meeting regarding the York Potash proposals, held at 6:30pm on Tuesday 19th March 2013. [Part 1 available here].

PART  II: The Q’s & A’s

Q1  – Regarding the Spoil, does the Bund have a height limit? (CF – Yes, a maximum of 10m).  Will you still see the buildings?

CF – (Chris France; NYMNPA) There will be more of a visual impact – further assessment is being asked for.

Q2 – If this planning is given, once in, what is to stop them coming back for an easier and cheaper building design? Would they have to go through the full planning process again?

MH – (Mark Hill; NYMNPA) I don’t know about that, but I assume a following application would receive the same attention.

CF – I can give reassurances, and so would any of the members. (That a further application would receive the same attention)

MH – Another Boulby Mine (design) in the Park in the 21st Century is not tenable.

Q3 –  What happens if the NYMPA approve but the Pipeline does not meet approval?

MH – This issue has already been raised with our legal team. York Potash will have to wait until the last consent is in place before construction starts. A linking arrangement is in place (between planning authorities).

Q4 – There are no details of the winding-gear, the pumping station, etc, etc, it is totally astonishing the amount of details that have not been submitted. Is this application premature?  What is the Feasibility Study? There are no details, surely it should have been done before the application went in? The feasibility study is due to be completed in the last quarter of 2013? This is a premature application.

MH – The feasibility Study is about details rather than principles.  Based on an EIA study laid before. It may change external dimensions. We are waiting for AMEC’s details.

AMEC – A request has been sent to York Potash with a number of questions asking for further information.  Regarding the EIA, if any changes, there is a risk of Judicial Review; Reg 22 applies. York Potash are still working on part of it. At this time there is insufficient information for a conclusion to be drawn. The Feasibilty Study could be the marketing of the mineral or maybe related to the mine design. We don’t know.

MH – The Application has to be looked as an entity. So have the pipeline details that have to be submitted.

Q5 – So members do not have all the facts to base a decision?

CF – We have no control of timing. If the Application is called in it could be 6 months. Though the potential is there to be assessed all at once.

Q6 –  Is the pipeline new technology?  Has it being used before?

CF – Not as a slurry.

AMEC – Not a pipeline expert but structure of the pipeline is not new , but to use saline could be.

Q7 – (Diana Jeuda, WLP) – The pipelining has not been done before, but pipelining is not unusual? We are not competent enough to know the technical details. The big questions are; is it going to work, and is it safe? Should we be digging it out? What are the benefits to local communities?

Diance Jeuda went on to say that she hopes the NYMNPA will make the decision and not the Secretary of State, “you have more local knowledge” . . . Whilst there may be 5 years of disruption, the Mine will bring benefit to local people over the longer term . . .There is much support from young people in Whitby.

Then, to CF – How can you say there is not enough details on the jobs but there is details on your own website? Skills will be available if the jobs are available . . . that is the Labour Party’s view. (Much applause).

CF – There is much more information needed – the negative impact on Tourism, the negative impact on Boulby, it is about getting a balanced argument.

Q8 – What about commercial delivery vehicles? For example at Boulby there was 23 delivery lorries within 2 hrs.

AMEC – Only materials from the excavation are included so far. There is no information yet on materials (to be brought in). “There is a large gap”.

Q9 – I am a member of the public in favour of the project but with reservations, where is the tree planting? I don’t think the pumping of the slurry is not reasonable. What are they going to do for power? Will it be oil? I would expect oil is needed for generators along the pipeline. They can’t get the power out of the grid.  The windfarm is very unlikely. So how will power get to the mine?

Answered by DJ:  Two x 66 kv from Thornton Dale, with 33kv from Scarborough using timber poles.

MH – We have been told “there is sufficient capacity within the existing powergrid network”. The mine will increase the energy footprint, these details have been provided.

Q10 – The skills strategy and professionals needed along with skills profile has not been anticipated. There were major omissions and the key performance indicators should be quanitifed and qualified giving aspirations to the local workforce. A strategic part of human resources, benchmarking and a commitment to the workforce.

Q – A businessman from Scarborough; appreciated the work he had already been given indirectly via Mariott Drilling. In these hard times, not only jobs but work for small business was needed. More use of the Park and Ride scheme should be made, the buses that run on the Park and Ride scheme would be made in Scarborough.

Q – Whether the product is MOP or SOP, it is the potassium that is of value. Is the Planning decision to be based purely on the UK market? Because if so you might as well forget it.

MH –  We are working on a ratio of 1 mt for the UK market and 4mt for export.

Q – (VI) then asked about the Silkin Test under the NPI Framework regs, mentioned earlier.

MH – Whilst the need for the product in the UK is taken into consideration, also taken into consideration was the exports for economic benefits.

Q – What about the need for Potash in the UK? There have been suggestions that Boulby’s potash will run out in 20 or 30 years time. Surely that is when we will need the Potash, here in the UK?

Have Boulby responded to the Planning Application?

AMEC – No, Boulby’s reaction to the Planning Application was not in yet, but was expected.

Q – As a local farmer and land owner, I support this for the rural economy.

Q – This does not meet the Silkin Test.

Q – (NYMA) What if the mine fails? Who will pick up the pieces?

MH – As part of the Application 300 landowners names were added to the application forms.

Q – But what about subsidence? Is there any insurance or assurances given?

MH – There is lots of missing information.

Q – (VI) Boulby make very special use of their void space. Have York Potash stated what they intend to do with the void space?

DT –  (A member of the public) You’re that Vanda! Why not ask that mate of yours, Tim Thorne? York Potash have already answered that question many times, there is no issue over void space.

VI – We have written to York Potash three times and we have never received any reply. Again I ask the question; “Have York Potash included in its plans what they intend to do with the void space?”

AMEC – No. There is no details about use of the void space, this would only come in at Phase 2 when backfilling materials taken from the mine.

VI – So if there are no details about use of the void space, then perhaps in 20 or 30 years time, that space could be used to store waste?

DT – You’re talking about toxic and hazardous waste again!

VI – I never mentioned toxic or hazardous waste in my question, however given there is to be some considerable void space, then there is a possibility that space could in the future be used for toxic waste disposal?

DJ – (Diana Jeuda; WLP) Could a condition be put in the Planning Application that the void space is never used?

CF – No, we cannot do that. But if the mine were to be used for waste disposal a licence would be required from the relevant agency and authority.

Q – I read an article regarding your Member, Tim Lawn. Though the reasons for his resignation from the Council were not given, I would like to ask you directly if any other Members of the National Park Authority may be similarly compromised by way of land ownership or share-holdings?

CF – There are two other Members of the Park Authority that have declared their interests in the Project. They will not participate in discussion or decisions and will not be allowed to vote at the decision meeting.

Q – Who are those two Members?

CF – They are Helen Swiers and Mrs Mitchell.

Q – Going back to the spoil and the rocks. Surely there will be acidic leeching and a run off?

AMEC – As always the devil is in the detail. We don’t yet have that detail.

CF – We are still holding urgent meetings; yesterday with the MoD, Wednesday we have a meeting with the Environment Agency.

Q – What about the Ancient Woodland within the site?

And then I stopped listening as the meeting was brought to a close because all I could hear was the chap sat nearby repeating, “This is never going to happen”.

Then followed a brief private discussion about how to measure the sense of disappointment should the mine never be built.

To conclude this report with my own opinion and impression, I would firstly like to offer my respect to Chris France and his team on the NYMNPA.They have an extremely difficult decision to make, under an immense amount of pressure.

I conclude that indeed the NYMNPA are indeed fit for purpose. Their sense of responsibility and duty at tonight’s meeting was very clear. The disappointment factor in the lack of details provided by York Potash was very evident. If York Potash want this project to succeed they, need to pull their finger out and get put more facts on the table.

That said, the ‘sense of disappointment’ was quite illuminating? It begs the question as to what support of actual substance York Potash have received from other local authorities in terms of knowledge and understanding of the complexities of siting the mineshaft in its current location; particularly in relation to the MoD objection. This could and should have been avoided.

Had Goodwill et al bothered to do some research of their own, they would have been better placed to support this project. Whilst not liking to listening to what Diana Jeuda had to say in support of the mine, I was quite proud that the local Labour Party had taken the time and effort to file a report and contribute to the debate and discussion.

Finally, before some ’bright spark’ ‘third party’ puts pen to paper to trigger the call in of the application to the Secretary of State – thus relieving the NYMNPA of this difficult decision – it is worth remembering that this could postpone the Application decision by a further six months. At the rate that Sirius are spending their millions this could cause serious cash-flow problems, so should you want the project to succeed then think again.

The question now is? Are the NYMNPA and their Planning Committee Members the right people for the job?

In my own view, yes, they are; they have an enormous weight of responsibility and they are qualified, able and willing and have the necessary frameworks and resources to work with.

Let them decide.

Posted by on March 21, 2013. Filed under Featured,News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

26 Responses to NYMNPA Potash Public Meeting – Helmsley [Part 2]

  1. Chris the realist Reply

    March 21, 2013 at 5:32 am

    Finally, before some ’bright spark’ ‘third party’ puts pen to paper to trigger the call in of the application to the Secretary of State – thus relieving the NYMNPA of this difficult decision


    No doubt quite a few of your ‘bright spark’ pals will have already written in to the SoS, however that in itself will not trigger an automatic call-in:

    The Secretary of State has powers to ‘call-in’, or to decide him or herself, any planning application. In practice this power is only used very infrequently. It is usually used when the application in question is of national significance, or is listed in regulations which state certain types of significant application that the Secretary of State must be notified of. The power is more likely to be used if the application is not in line with, or ‘departs from’, the development plan in place in the relevant area…

    …Once the Department for Communities and Local Government has then looked at the detail of an application, it can decide to call it in…

    …If it does, the decision to approve or reject the application is made by the Government and taken out of the local authority’s hands…

    Personally, I think it will be called in, as the project clearly passes the Silkin test for National importance.

  2. Chris the realist Reply

    March 21, 2013 at 5:46 am

    Oh…and in anticipation of any comparisons between the 1978 plans being rejected by NYMNPA then called in by the SoS and subsequently rejected at appeal, here’s the scale of the original proposals:

    Loading tower – 135 feet high – ground area 3,600 sq ft
    Process building – 100 feet high – ground area 22,000 sq ft
    Admin block – 12 storeys high – 135 ft x 43 ft
    Storage building – 85 ft high – ground area 116,800 sq ft
    Labs – Staff Block – 3 sub stations – 1 pump house

    The total area of the refinery / process site was to be 85 acres
    The proposed chimney was to have been 265 feet high

    – vs this –


  3. secretsqu Reply

    March 21, 2013 at 7:34 am

    Anybody may write to the SoS stating why they think a planning app should be called in, but that doesn’t automatically trigger it.

    …Each year many thousands of applications are made, but the
    Secretary of State calls-in only a very small number. His policy is that
    normally an application will only be called-in if he thinks that there are
    planning issues of more than local importance. Examples of these are:
    development that may conflict with national policies on important
    development that could have significant effects beyond its
    immediate locality;
    development that raises significant architectural and urban design
    development where the interests of national security are involved,
    or the interest of foreign Governments;
    development where there is substantial regional or national

  4. secretsqu Reply

    March 21, 2013 at 7:52 am

    One other thing Vanda, the accompanying picture at the top; a little dramatic dont you think?

    Spoiled an otherwise balanced report.

    • Vanda Inman Reply

      March 21, 2013 at 9:14 am

      I cant see a picture?

      • Chris the realist Reply

        March 21, 2013 at 2:51 pm

        This picture, associated with the article:

        Must have missed the part of planning app stating the potash deposits are so shallow they can be scooped out with a giant open-cast mining machine.

        Makes a change from a picture of Boulby I suppose.

        Editorial bias? Surely not.

        • Vanda Reply

          March 21, 2013 at 3:18 pm

          Ah, that picture, but that is only half the picture, the full caption says …”if you think buying special lightbulbs means this Earth raping machine will cease to exist, you need to educate yourself more, much more. THERE IS NO PLANET B” … Just a take on Chris Frazers – “there is no Plan B.” – but do cheer yourself up VV;

  5. Stakesby Legs Reply

    March 21, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Squirrels grabbed his nuts and made a dash for the PANIC ROOM. Yawn, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  6. secretsqu Reply

    March 21, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Just the sort of comment I have come to expect from you. Please drop the personal stuff as you are adding very little to the debate.

  7. Vanda Inman Reply

    March 21, 2013 at 9:10 am

    As said, I wouldn’t call this in, am sure the Members of the NYMNPA are more able to measure the ‘disappointment factor’ than the Secretary of State.

    The meeting talked about details and regulations and making a “vigorous assessment” and there was clearly lines drawn to protocol.

    When CF soberly said this is “interesting” and “challenging” I got the feeling his sense of place stopped him short of saying “and this is the most exciting project we’ve ever had.”

  8. Richard Ineson Reply

    March 21, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Well done Vanda, another balanced and very informative report of the meeting. I am sure that NYMNPA would like to pass the final decision over to the government.Did you clarify whether or not, that giant earth moving machine will be coming down Church Street? Also, I haven’t seen any mention of STAKEHOLDER STEERING GROUPS yet, surely they will be using that particular smoke screen to get past any awkward questions?

  9. Vanda Inman Reply

    March 21, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Apparently there is a presentation at Town Hall today. No doubt a select few will form yet another committee of themselves to do nothing. Yawn, another wasted day for the Potash People.

    Still it would be interesting to know if and what the Boro’s Portfolio Holder of Legal, Finance and Procurement has anything to say at this meeting, given that an alternative option to put the minehead dierctly next door to her partners property at Cloughton has been mooted.

  10. yazmin owen-taylor Reply

    March 21, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    just a simple comment from me iv talked to workers and locals about this and have been astounded to hear that the potash we already have is not wanted and people are wondering why we need two mines producing something we dont have a need for i understand that we can sell some abroad but the cost of this plan and the scare on the land does not seem worth the cash to be returned from it also iv heard that it will make no difference to local people job wise . please can you explain why what i hear from locals is not the same as im hearing from this debate thanks sorry if i sound dim but it really makes no sense to me at all

    • vanda Reply

      March 21, 2013 at 10:12 pm

      If you’ve only just heard about the Potash Project and Mine then you are not alone. You would think a proper public consultation would include all of the people. Only 1000 people responded to the York Potash Public Consultation, that is less than 1 % of the local population. How many people do you think responded when our Council tried to sell off our Town Hall and move it 5 miles out of Scarborough?

      • Nigel Ward Reply

        March 21, 2013 at 11:41 pm

        How many people do you think responded to a ‘public consultation’ on whether Scarborough should adopt the ‘People’s Directly-Elected Mayor’ leaderhips model, or the “Strong Leader” (chooses his wom cabimet, can’t be dislodged for 4 years) model?

        I’ll give you a clue. 87.5% of respondents voted in favour of the ‘People’s Directly-Elected Mayor’ model.

        But CEO JIm DILLON determined that the sample was too small to be representative. Unsurprising, because to this day I have not talked to anyone who took part. That’s ‘public consultation’ the SBC way – ask as few as possible, and disregard the result if it doesn’t suit the Dons.

        Go on. have a guess. How many?

  11. kathleen parker Reply

    March 21, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    It will get more than a thumbs up at Cloughton!

  12. anarchyUK Reply

    March 22, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Have I missed Tom Fox gushing all over this project yet? Or is he too aware of his self-servatives interest in this to be able to comment? No doubt Cllr Bastiman will be looking at the property portfolio, he has already been eyeing up Whitby Business Park. It was in the Minutes that SBC have signed a Landowners/Mineral Rights Contract, but the details were ‘pinked’ because of commercial sensitivity. I think an FOI request is due.

  13. James Irvine Reply

    March 22, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Vanda, you would have done well in the 1940s. Propaganda extraordinaire.

    • DKP Reply

      March 22, 2013 at 10:14 am

      Publishing a verbatim report is propaganda? And the early promises of 5,000 jobs were not? Sell the shares, James. While you can.

  14. admin Reply

    March 22, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Can I ask who ever published this to use the Potash tag so that it appears in the list of articles from the main menu.

    All potash articles no matter how slightly related should come under that tag so that anyone wanting to read them all can find them easily.

  15. anarchyUK Reply

    March 22, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    LMHO: Cllr B Watson “I agree with the project so long as the area is not spoilt” !!?

  16. anarchyUK Reply

    March 22, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    yeah ok sloppy and not good enough; ” Cllr Brian Watson said he was in support of the plan, as long as the surrounding area was not spoilt.”

  17. Therealworld Reply

    March 23, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    Vanda Inman, on the 19th March the following item appeared on Whitby Gazette:

    10:58 AM on 19/03/2013
    Without looking up the Sirius website, which Lord Hutton is on the Sirius Board of Directors? Place your bets 50/50? up tick for Brian Hutton down tick for John Hutton,_Baron_Hutton_of_Furness
    They have both worked for the Ministry of Defence, one is an old chum of Tony Blair and the other is Hutton of Furness, where nucleur waste is being stored temporarily.:

    11 minutes later you posted under your name, the same article on here.

    I then posted the following Question to anarchyUK:

    1:13 PM on 22/03/2013
    anarchyUK, Could you answer a straight forward question with a straight forward answer for me.
    Are you and Vanda Inman one and the same the same person?

    To which I got a reply from anarcyUK that said, I am a chatterbot that posts under different names, this was quickly removed from the site and replaced with the following post.

    6:35 PM on 22/03/2013
    Why don’t you ask Vanda Inman?

    So Vanda that is exactly what I would like to ask you, are you and ‘anarchyUK’ one and the same person.

    A straight yes or no in the interest of honesty and clarity that you have quoted as “not being too much to ask” when talking about other people, would be greatly appreciated.

    • Vanda Inman Reply

      March 25, 2013 at 10:40 am

      Hello, I’ve heard a lot about you. I am a person. Anarchy UK is not a person, more of an ‘entity’. AnarchyUK is a communication tool that creates smalltalk to gather information and is employed for intelligence purposes. I have access to AnarchyUK’s origination and organisation.

      Is there a problem?

  18. Vanda Inman Reply

    March 25, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Interesting to note (IMO)that one of the most important factors has been overlooked for comment.

    Boulby have yet to respond or ‘object’ to the Planning Application.

    Could this be why York Potash are lacking in detail? Strategically this could be a good move. If Boulby hold back their response until the last minute then York Potash will have little time to deflect.

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