Potash Planning: “Crank it Up!”

Potash Planning: “Crank it Up!”

  • a short bulletin by Vanda Inman.


An update on one of the three main outstanding ‘issues’, that of hydrology, has been submitted in response to the Potash ‘Project’.

“The Environment Agency OBJECT to the planning application submitted on the basis that inadequate information has been provided … in relation to the (TWO) following matters . . .

Groundwater Protection – The impact the sub surface elements of the development will have on groundwater and its associated springs, watercourses, abstractions and habitats;

Foul Drainage Disposal – The impact the proposed foul drainage discharg from the welfare facilities will have on Sneaton Thorpe Beck and adjacent waterbodies .

The letter from the Environment Agency:

The ‘buzz’ words being;

“Overcoming our Objection . . . insufficient  information . . . independent terrestrial ecosystems . . . mitigation measures.”

To summarise, the Environment Agencies OBJECTS to the present application because York Potash have not supplied the correct information that allows the Environment Agency to approve. The main contention being Groundwater protection, with more submissions needed, with guidance given on how to achieve approval status. Mainly to do with the management of sub-terranean hydrology, sub-aquifiers and the risks associated with extremes conditions of drought and flood.

The secondary consideration of Foul Drainage Disposal is more clear cut, my surmise is that they are requesting that a mains based drainage system is installed. End of.


  • Risk taken by the Environment Agency – None whatsoever.
  • Risk and Cost to Sirius Mineral – Total

That said, the Environment Agency seem to be  bending over – backwards to try and assist this project adding comment to the Major Development Test and further adding regarding the siting of the mine;

“. . . we are likely to have objected in principle had the mine-head been proposed within a Source Protection Zone 1. Whilst we would not necessarily have objected in principle had the minehead been proposed within other Source Protection  Zones or on the Corallian Limestone principal aquifer further south, the degree of risk to the groundwater resource would have been considerably higher. As such we welcome that the minehead proposed has successfully avoided these more sensitive locations.”
Next Steps – given that we are currently objecting due to the lack of information, our preference would be for determination of the application to be deferred in order to allow York Potash to assemble the necessary information.

Should the National Park Authority be minded to grant planning permission contrary to our current objections, we request to be re-consulted and given the opportunity to comment on the inclusion of planning conditions.

We would be pleased to meet with York Potash and their relevant consultants at the earliest opportunity to discuss the additional information needed . . . ”

That reads to me that the Environment Agency have a due responsibility and would like to examine all the risks add infinitum but, should the Park Authority be pressed into making a decision on 2nd July – then just get back to us,

So an agreement in principle, but not in detail.

Looks like the Project still has wings, but some more cranking up before blast off!

terror tower

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23 Responses to "Potash Planning: “Crank it Up!”"

  1. JD  May 20, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    It may be naïve to think that a planning application for an enterprise as big as this one promises to be should be totally straightforward. Your hysterical sensationalist reaction to any query that arises detracts from the seriousness with which your argument is likely to be treated.

  2. Vanda  May 20, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    Hi JD, had a nice day? do cheer up love. Its about the Potash mine in a National Park, it is not worlds end or armageddon.

    Here take a look at this site: http://www.ride-extravaganza.com/thrill/tower-of-terror/ – the engineering in making these machines is world class, with safety a top priority, but you’ve got to build and design a fun element in there too.

    Shall we put one of these in the National Park, would that attract the tourists? Not.

    Every dark cloud has a silver lining. No need for a doom and gloom bad attitude, dear.

  3. Richard Ineson  May 21, 2013 at 8:04 am

    Has anyone considered the adverse effect on the share price, objections from organisations like the Environment Agency and The MoD, might have, spare a thought for the shareholders and also the poor people who are in line to profit from the the exploitation of mineral rights on land belonging to them. It seems to me that this argument is all about protecting the natural beauty of the National Park.

  4. Vanda  May 21, 2013 at 9:24 am

    “It seems to me that this argument is all about protecting the natural beauty of the National Park.” – indeed it should be Richard, and if that was the simplicity of the case then the concept should have been thrown out and laughed at by the NYMNPA way back in 2009/10.

    Why the ‘compelling’ application by Chris Fraser et al seems to have been ‘entertained’ at all beats my ideology.

    Then I listen and look around, yes we are fortunate to live in THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN THE WORLD but thankx to this recession there are wide cracks appearing in our ‘bubble’.

    Some may say I have gone too soft on the project. But then they do not touch on that most henious, tragic and devastating crime a couple of weeks ago, within our community. That leaves a whole big question mark over OUR attitude towards the next generation. We need to do better. We need to look at what we have nurtured and value the most.

    Your are right though, we should forget the shareholders, they have their own agenda, but we do need to look a lot closer at our own motives, sorry for getting all philosophical

  5. Frank Chalmers  May 21, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    What we could be asking ourselves is why is it that people who ask questions are vilified and attacked.

    Anyone who has a legitimate question of what’s going on around them, or in the community is treated as an imbecile (usually by public servants – people we pay to SERVE us). Worse, they are often branded “conspiracy theorists”, and called “the great unwashed”.

    It is my experience that anyone who is intelligent enough to ask questions, should. The greatest historical attrociites have taken place because people remained silent, and no one asked questions.

    Only by asking questions, and holding the public servants to account, can we ensure the right thing is done for our communities.

    Next we should be looking at the finances of that company known as Scarborough Borough Council… did I say company? I meant Council… surely.

  6. Vanda  May 23, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    I nicked this from the LSE site:

    23 May 2013

    Sirius Minerals Plc

    York Potash Project holding objection update

    The Directors of Sirius Minerals Plc (AIM: SXX, OTCQX: SRUXY) (“Sirius” or the “Company”) are pleased to provide an update on the holding objection submitted by the Ministry of Defence to the York Potash Project planning application.

    Following a meeting with representatives from the Ministry of Defence (“MoD”) and RAF Fylingdales the Company has been informed that the MoD is minded to remove its holding objection to the York Potash planning application. This will occur following the successful agreement of planning conditions between the MoD, the North York Moors National Park Authority (“NYMNPA”) and the Company which will allow for an on-going programme of monitoring to ensure no impact on the important facility.

    The Company has been informed during its recent meeting with the MoD that it intends to agree these conditions in advance of a planning decision for the mine planning application, which is due to be made by the NYMNPA on 2 July 2013.

    Chris Fraser, Managing Director and CEO of Sirius, commented:

    “We welcome the MoD’s intention to remove the objection following the submission of extra technical information showing that RAF Fylingdales will not be affected by the York Potash Project impact.

    “Planning conditions are a sensible way to ensure important consultees are given comfort on our on-going commitment to the issues they raise, without incurring unnecessary delays.”

    So it looks like they have achieved blast off! status. It goes without saying I am totally gutted and at a loss as to what real ‘opposition’ is left. Was kinda relying on the MoD, but then if they are allowing the Russians into Greenland via RRR, where one of their other facilities is then I suppose it was to be expected. Time will tell. At least D Day is still 2nd July =- no point in prolonging the agony. Tick Tock. Bye Bye National Park, hello Mine Land :

  7. Vanda  May 24, 2013 at 6:22 am


    pleased to see Tom Chadwick and friends are still on the case.

  8. Vanda  May 24, 2013 at 9:43 am

    UPDATE from York Potash

    Hello, York Potash,

    Further to our previous correspondence regarding waste disposal please would you consider the following document entitled Minerals & Waste:

    : http://www.northyorks.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=23841&p=0

    Would you please confirm the extent of your interest in the above.

    Your comments would be appreciated, thank you. When are the away team back from the US?

    Kind Regards,

    Vanda Inman


    Dear Vanda,

    We may make representations to this planning relating to potash mining (although our current focus is clearly on the current application). We will not be making any contribution on the waste element of this plan.

    Kind regards,

    York Potash communications team

    Take it the Away Team are back then. Should see some more Potash action soon.

  9. secretsqu  May 24, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Hi Vanda, that article is nearly 6mths old. Is there another more up to date article other than the objection that TC lodged with the NYMPA in the spring. On phone so may be missing something.

    • Vanda  May 26, 2013 at 4:50 pm

      Not that I’m aware of I will have a look later on. If I find anything or get sent more stuff I will post it on here. I’m all for shared information Squirell! unless its marked Top Secret, obviously (that was a joke btw GK) ATB

  10. Vanda  May 26, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    Here is an even earlier one with an article about Shaft Sinking, by ahem, Peter Woods, http://www.north-yorkshire-moors.org.uk/voice_magazine/voice_105.pdf

  11. secretsqu  May 27, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Yes Vanda, I read those articles in The Voice Of The Moors some time ago. As I recall, there were four articles in the series written by Peter that covered key stages of the Boulby build.

    With regard to your earlier regerence to TC, as far as I’m aware TC has not responded to the NYMPA in a formal manner to the additional information lodged by Sirius apart from his original submission to them in March. (Or was that April)

    It would appear that TC’s stance is a binary one, but I can’t help feeling that he would have served his supporters better by engaging with the Company after their repeated invitations in the local press for him to do so, much like all of the other organisations that have lodged objections have, but I’ve yet to see evidence of that. I guess he’s approaching it his way.

    • Vanda  May 27, 2013 at 7:22 pm

      I guess after TC’s initial ‘opposition’ the shareholders scared him off ‘public’. Shame really, his points were more ‘salient’ than mine, Anyhow, its good that your back here, far less intimidating! I am a pacifist really, until gnarled. Wooof! Bunch of animals on LSE! Let em get on with it. Still where angels fear to tread, and I ain’t no angel, unlike TC – he deserves a lot more respect than what he received. Blessed be. Still think the ‘vengeful one’ needs a good slap! but hey ho don’t we all every now and then.

  12. Jon Owen  May 27, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Hi Vanda

    I’ll post here as most are getting fed up on LSE. Even though I vowed not to – it’s logical.

    So it looks like you’re accepting this will get PP (prob conditional)for a 14Ha mine in a 140,000HA park.

    EA and NE will always object , it’s their job after all, what matters is France’s recommendation. He will consider the objections and consider if the applicant has done enough to mitigate them to an acceptable degree – in his judgement. Then make his recommendation.

    This from the National Planning Policy Framework:

    Sec 116: “Consideration of such applications should include an assessment of…… any detrimental effect on the environment, the landscape and recreational opportunities, and the extent to which that could be moderated.”


    Have the co done enough for Mr France? This from the co’s public statement on the objections (you missed that one):

    “Sirius Minerals Plc

    20 May 2013

    20 May 2013

    Sirius Minerals Plc

    York Potash Project approvals update

    – Objections received from the Environment Agency and Natural England. Sirius is confident that these are most appropriately dealt with via conditions to an approval for the York Potash Project……..”


    From that, to me the co seems very confident that there is no need to offer up any more to the Park with this app. Would they take that stance if they weren’t petty certain of PP? Looks like 2nd July is the day.

    All calm and civilised, no blood and guts (RW is much better as ‘nanu nanu man’ anyhow).

    Think more positively, this is everyday jobs and food, you know? A bread and butter thing.


  13. Vanda  May 27, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    Good Evening Jon, and welcome to Real Whitby! May I take this opportunity to thank you for your clarity of many of the complex points appertaining to this project. I do appreciate good manners, where appreciated. Though I really couldn’t care less about your personal investment potential …

    So, referring to your points:

    EA & NE will always object – agreed.

    Sirius statement – no I did not miss that one.

    “the National Planning Policy Framework … sec 116″ I did miss that one – thankfully.

    “the co seems very confident that there is no need to offer up any more to the Park with this app” – this is what has got my goat.

    “Would they take that stance if they weren’t petty certain of PP?” No, I think Sirius are getting fed up of been given the runaround. I don’t blame them. Surprisingly I agree with Chris Fraser on this one, just where does it all end? If the ‘Park’ are playing hardball to earn more ‘respect’ then I think that is totally unnecessary, if not foolish. And to whose cost? As said previously I think the ‘Park’ should consider how they perceive our Community and who or what they represent, Policy or people? (just like the MoD , what are they defending, exactly?) Sustainability is not about standing still, even if that is what we wish for. IMO Sirius have proved their ‘mantle’ sufficiently for the Park Authority to now make a decision in principle. Either way. That decision has to be made, on 2nd July.

    Spock would never be part of the Collective, so I’m afraid you’ve lost that badge ;-) ATB.

  14. Vanda  May 28, 2013 at 6:35 am

    @ SQ – time to kill, eh? I’m not sure what your Q regarding objection in principle is referring to. I read the EA objection as being flexible and positive. So, is that the NE objection? I didn’t look too closely at that because Natural England and the Park Authority work very closely together. When I applied for the SoS Member position on the PA it was NE that headed this. So, if the Park Authority have led us down this merry path, it does seem very odd that they would only now have this internal conflict. How, or perhaps why, are they making objections to their own implementations,strategies, procedures and controls? Perhaps they need to sort themselves out!

    Alas, no I didn’t get the job, but no guesses as to why. Still freedom is a wonderful thing.


  15. Vanda  May 28, 2013 at 7:06 am

    PS those two new members to the PA were to replace two that were retiring anyway, nothing to do with recent shenanigans. By my reckoning there is still at least one vacancy. The application pack is quite revealing as to how they operate. Not sure if it is downloadable from Defra but well worth adding to your research. Or try Chris Buxton at NE, Sheffield. Who knows you may even want to apply? lol

  16. Vanda  May 28, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Whitby Business Park, consultation for future use? could be worth a visit; http://scarborough.objective.co.uk/portal/planning/aaps/draftwbpaap

  17. Vanda  May 29, 2013 at 5:53 am

    For entertainment purposes only: What to do when your stuck on the A 171 behind a mining vehicle; “Wheetabixes” lololol indeed: WARNING – DO NOT OPEN IF SENSITIVE – https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=pT6yiyA1qPw#!

  18. Vanda  May 29, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    I see final rehearsals for the Potash Protest for Fridays site visit are underway: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=40df2Gp8Pe0#!

  19. Vanda  May 31, 2013 at 7:13 am

    The 38 Degrees petition for those in support of the mine has been handed in to the PA –

    When is the shareholders ‘coming out’ party?

    I note that some of the ‘shy ones’, signed it at least twice.

    All things being equal …. in the interests of transparency and accountability

    GK/VV Have a nice day! xx


  20. secretsqu  May 31, 2013 at 7:39 am


    Not sure if you’ve seen it yet, but here’s a petition in support of the mine with 3,082 signatures. Interesting to see that a lot of those that put their name to the petition are locals.


    • Tim Thorne  May 31, 2013 at 8:12 pm

      Not sure if anyone will see it now. :P


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