As fracking, and the controversy which surrounds it, moves a step closer to the region, many people admit that they are still unsure what it means.
So what exactly is fracking and why does it generate such strong feelings both for and against?
Richard Wilson has been looking at the science behind the controversial mining technique.
More top news
It's been confirmed that the Marks and Spencer stores in both Stockton and Darlington will close in August.
It's part of the investigation into the disappearance of Donna Keogh from Middlesbrough in 1998 when she was just 17 years old.
The move is likely to lead to the loss of more than 1,500 jobs.