Councillors have approved an application by UK firm Third Energy to frack for shale gas near the village of Kirby Misperton, North Yorkshire.
The move throws into sharp focus the upcoming planning inspector’s decision on Cuadrilla’s attempts to establish fracking sites at Roseacre and Little Plumpton in Lancashire, which is due this summer after a public inquiry earlier this year.
Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla said: “I am delighted that Third Energy’s planning application to frack its existing vertical well in Yorkshire has been given the go ahead by North Yorkshire County Council today. This will boost the shale gas industry across the North of England, providing much needed jobs as well as gas vitally needed to heat our homes and power our businesses. I commend the North Yorkshire Councillors who, following their own planning officer’s recommendation, carefully considered the facts before them and recognised that fracking will be done safely and securely with the right regulation and mitigation in place. We remain confident in the strength of our appeal case for our own applications to frack the UK’s first horizontal wells in Lancashire and hope for a positive decision later this summer.”
Simon Bowens, Yorkshire and Humber campaigner for Friends of the Earth, said: “This is an absolute travesty of a decision but the battle is very far from over.
“Today 7 out of 11 North Yorkshire county councillors voted to approve this fracking application in Ryedale, ignoring the objection of Ryedale District Council itself, as well as thousands of local residents and businesses.
“Despite this decision, public support for fracking is plummeting as Wales, Scotland and countries across Europe have suspended it. The risks to people’s health and the environment are unacceptable and we will fight on.”