PLANS to turn a disused mine between York and Selby into an electricity-generating plant which could create new jobs are set to move forward.

The company aiming to transform the North Selby mine near Escrick and Wheldrake into a renewable energy station has applied for an assessment into how the scheme might affect the local environment.

The pit ceased production in 1999, with its machinery since being demolished and its mineshafts sealed. BNP Paribas Real Estate aims to submit a planning application to City of York Council to turn it into a plant using waste-derived fuels to create electricity.

It also plans to use part of the land as an education and sustainability centre, but is first seeking to draw up an assessment of any environmental issues, including noise and odours, surrounding the proposed development.

It has yet to be confirmed what the size of any plant would be.

These details would become clear if and when a full planning application is submitted.

A statement by the company which has been sent to the council said that if the plant goes ahead, it would increase the amount of renewable energy produced in North Yorkshire and would provide “employment and a range of spin-off research benefits”.

“The plant would use up to 140,000 tonnes of waste per year. The waste would be non-hazardous and would arise from a combination of municipal, commercial and industrial sources. On average, this would require 32 heavy goods vehicles entering and leaving the site each day,” said the statement.

“The plant will export up to 22 megawatts of renewable energy on to the National Grid using the existing grid connection at the site.”

The waste which would be used to create energy at the plant is expected to come from both the York and Selby areas, although specific details have not yet been identified.

BNP Paribas said the environmental issues which are likely to need addressing involve odours from the proposed plant, emissions and dust created during the construction process.

Production at the North Selby mine started in 1986, but the pit then became a victim of a closure process instigated by UK Coal during the 1990s.