Campaigners have reacted with fury and dismay after North Yorkshire county councillors approved plans to carry out hydraulic fracturing at Kirby Misperton, near Malton.
The eleven-member Planning Committee voted 7 votes to 4 to grant planning permission to Third Energy to frack just ½ mile from the picturesque North Yorkshire village.
Over 1,000 people attended an anti-fracking rally outside the meeting at County Hall on Friday 20th at Northallerton and many returned on Monday to hear the councillors make their ruling. Nearly 4,000 letters of objection to the company’s plans were received also at the County Council, set against only 32 letters in favour.
Ian Conlan from Frack Free Ryedale said:
“It is just appalling that despite the strength of public opposition to this application it has been pushed through by councillors, who are being told what to do by a government that is determined to support the fracking industry.
“What faith can local people have in democracy if the members of the planning committee can just completely ignore both the strength of local opinion and the sound planning grounds that objectors have raised? It is a sham.
This company lied to Anne McIntosh two years ago when they told her they had no plans to frack. They failed to inform residents about a leak to their existing pipeline. They have failed to do wildlife surveys, and it now appears they manipulated the background noise survey to show elevated background noise that only occurred during the monitoring period. This company is just not fit to frack.”
“We call on Barclays Bank, who own 97% of Third Energy, to note that there is no social licence to frack and pull the plug on Third Energy and redirect their investments towards renewable energy that has genuine community support.”
Sue Gough who lives in Little Barugh said:
“I just can’t believe that the committee has approved this application and totally ignored those people who will be directly affected by fracking. They have effectively now opened the floodgates for every fracking company to follow in Third Energy’s footsteps and bring about the industrialisation and destruction of not only Ryedale, but potentially the whole of North Yorkshire and swathes of the rest of the UK.
“This is not scaremongering – we know about the risks to public health and well-being and the impact on the environment. Councillors have heard for themselves how one resident has already become ill and frightened because of the constant drilling of this well that has already taken place prior to Third Energy’s intention to frack it. I hope the committee members realise just what they have done and the impact of their decision for generations to come. We have fought and will continue to fight fracking for the sake of our children, grandchildren, and future generations.
Ryedale District Councillor Di Keal said:
“This is a shocking and frankly outrageous decision that flies in the face of local people’s views as well as those of Ryedale District Council where this site is situated, every town council in the district and many parish councils.
“Having listened to the impassioned speakers against the application, who gave perfectly sound planning reasons why the committee should reject this application, it astounds me that they trampled on their views and granted permission to a company that wants to industrialise Ryedale.
“This is not however the end of the matter. Campaigners against this hugely damaging industry will continue the fight to prevent widespread fracking across Ryedale, Yorkshire and across the UK.”