The Socio-Economic Impacts of the York Potash Project

The Socio-Economic Impacts of the York Potash Project

  • –  a report by Vanda Inman outlining further data relevant to the forthcoming planning decision on the York Potash Project.


From the ERS Report (Final)  April 2013

“York Potash is estimated to a create up to 6,089 jobs during construction

and production and annual GVA of £1.2bn for multiple generations”

There then follows some meaningless graph, and we are still on Page 2 of a 144 page document.

“York Potash is estimated to generate annual tax payments to the UK government up to £303m”

From the ERS TABLE

Nat Pk













Phase I







Phase II














This is total conjecture, it omits that during construction the VAT element, which the company will be able to reclaim, and makes assumptions that the company will be making a profit. The highest figures being corporation tax at phase I, £38.1 m and phase II, £163 m. Given that the Project will be reclaiming capital costs and reinvesting in capital and R & D the company will IMO have no tax liability for many years, certainly until after phase II.

The income tax and NI (phase I, £48.2 m) (phase II, £80.5 m) is estimated and arguable. Interestingly, Page 88 of the report shows  PAYE tax at 25%.

“Royalty and Foundation payments to benefit residents of the National Park and Local area are estimated at up to £ 56m annually”

This figure is taken from phase II (royalties £33.11m, dividends £11.6m, YP Foundation £6.62m, pipeline £0.09m, Council Tax £4.92m. It would have been interesting to calculate the % or ratio of beneficiaries over the whole population of the local area here. Whilst the YP Foundation £6.62m is very attractive to the communities, it is only 20% of the £33.11m given to landowners.

“York Potash is estimated to reduce the UK Current Account Deficit by up to 10% and represent up to 0.10% of GDP growth”

This is a political statement. The Current Account Deficit is beyond the remits of this project and IMO this project will have little or no impact to Govt. borrowing over receipts.  This is an attempt to justify the national importance of the project.

“York Potash will support additional visitor expenditure of £0.9m p.a. supporting 19 additional jobs in the tourism sector”

Whilst I can accept that the tourism industry is tired and in decline, “ York Potash employees and contractors estimated to contribute average of £0.9m of additional visitor expenditure, supporting 19 jobs”.  I think that is fair, if not on the low side, but perhaps needs to be read alongside other statistics from the Tourism reports.

 “Opportunity for significant gains for local shareholders of up to £580m, a no project scenario would lead to loss of shareholder value of £37m”

I have commented on this before. If local shareholders have invested £37m into this Project with a view to significant gains, whilst local business’ have failed, struggled and are fighting for survival in this on-going recession, then shame on them. I have absolutely no sympathy.

 York “Potash is already making a significant socio-economic contribution up to 337 jobs, 63 direct and 35 induced jobs and associated impact”

So that’s 98 jobs, or are they including the jobs taken up with the NPA in working this Project, which are mainly voluntary? I don’t get this figure of 337 jobs. Please explain. Though it does go on to highlight losses, attributed, even though they don’t currently exist.

And that ends my initial, analysis of the summary of the report at Page 6. In fairness, the figures to the summary are given through to Page 90 and I will go on to examine the detail of the report, but so far I am far from convinced that headlines stating  £940m per annum for the local economy is credible.

It is my clear understanding that if the economics to this project are not crystal clear,  then the national significance and local economic benefits of the Project will not meet the  ‘Silkin test’ and the National Park Authority will have no choice but to refuse the application.

“Planning permission should be refused for major developments in these designated areas except in exceptional circumstances and where it can be demonstrate they are in the public interest.  Consideration of such applications should include an assessment of :  the need for the development, including in terms of any national considerations, and the impact of permitting it, or refusing it upon the local economy ….   the cost of, and scope for, developing elsewhere outside the designated area, or meeting the need for it some other way …..any detrimental effect on the environment, the landscape and recreational opportunities and the extent to which that could be moderated”

And Page 35:

The ERS report seems to be addressing both national and local economic impacts at the same time, though perhaps it would have been clearer had two reports been commissioned.  To extrapolate the local benefits from the national benefits is rather time consuming.  It would be much easier had a ‘calculator’ been included to show outcomes to the variable and /or questionable figures.

So, please, do take time to read, comprehend, understand and examine this report because I think at this stage of the planning application, it is the most important ‘report’ to date.


4 Responses to "The Socio-Economic Impacts of the York Potash Project"

  1. george conway  June 10, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Dear Vanda

    I have no inclination to read a 144 page document, those employed at NYMPA will have done so. I as an individual will not be able to influence those who will make this decision and from what I had read so far they have already made their mind up.

    I have, however, written to the appropriate planning authorities expressing my concerns and for its worth will do the same when it gets past over to the Secretary of State.

    Will you be attending the July meeting at Sneaton Castle?

    PS can we get rid of these “say no to joe”posters its becoming a bit boring now

  2. Vanda  June 10, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Just one look and I can hear a bell ring…..

  3. Vanda  July 19, 2013 at 5:45 am

    from the NYMNP Web site:
    York Potash – Update – York Potash secures deferment

    At the request of York Potash the North York Moors National Park Authority has agreed to defer for the third time consideration of the York Potash planning application. The company has indicated they wish to have more time to submit essential environmental information. The Special Planning Committee meeting that was to be held at Sneaton Castle, Whitby on 29 July 2013 is now cancelled. No date has been sought by the company for a revised determination date.


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whitby photography by glenn kilpatrick