Monday 23 May, 6.55pm, Northallerton.
North Yorkshire County Council’s Planning Committee has approved Third Energy’s application to carry out fracking at a well in Kirby Misperton.
At the end of a two day meeting at County Hall in Northallerton, the committee voted by a majority of 7 to 4 to accept their planning officers’ recommendation that they approve, subject to conditions, the application to test-frack at the KM8 deep well.
This vote came in spite of the overwhelming local opposition to fracking, demonstrated in over 4,000 representations to the Council and a full day of presentations to the committee on Friday, from experts and laypeople opposing the application.
Opponents of the controversial and novel technique believe “it only starts with one well” and that this decision may, in effect, fire the starting gun on fracking across North Yorkshire, and could ultimately lead to the industrialisation of Ryedale’s rural landscape.
In the event, the committee accepted the company’s assurances regarding the safety of the operation and the effectiveness of their control measures.
Whether this is a black day for Ryedale or the dawning of a new age of energy independence remains to be seen.