A PLANNING APPLICATION to build the UK’s first rare earth materials processing facility has appeared again on the East Riding of Yorkshire Council planning portal website. The facility that is expected to produce 4,500 tonnes of Rare Earth Oxides had already received planning approval back in April 2020. Work by Pensana PLC to build the factory had even started at Saltend in May 2020. The new application reflects a change of location from Saltend Chemicals Park (SCP) to land adjacent to SCP on the other side of Paull Road.
The facility will initially produce rare earth oxides but once it is operational, construction of an additional metals production unit within the same plot of land will facilitate the next stage of magnet metal production. The factory would then be used for the production of magnets used in wind turbines, electric vehicles and other renewable industries.
A site known as the Reedmere site (owned by Saltend Chemicals Park) is the proposed new location for the development. It is a 15 Ha (35-acre) area already allocated for employment development within the local plan. To give it local context, the proposed development will be across the main roads from the Arts Garage and Dance School on Hull Road and not far from the houses at Glencoe Villas. Access onto the site will be via a new entrance from Paull Road which borders the site to the west.
The location of the site will also be in close proximity to the proposed Equinor blue hydrogen facility which under a co-operation agreement with Pensana will eventually supply hydrogen to them to replace natural gas and which will be used in the recycling of end-of-life magnets.
This planning application will be of considerable interest to those seeking to reduce the effects of the industrial sprawl on Paull village, and also those concerned about the impacts of traffic in Preston Parish and Hedon.