First UK fracking site in five years approved in North Yorkshire

Councillors have approved an application by UK firm Third Energy to frack near the village of Kirby Misperton.

It will be the first UK fracking site since a ban was lifted in 2012.

Live updates

Fracking verdict a 'much-needed victory for pragmatism'

The Acting Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce has said the fracking verdict in North Yorkshire is a "much-needed victory for in the face of the serious energy security problems Britain faces".

He said: "Businesses will want to see speedy development of this and other shale gas sites, together with maximum environmental and community consideration, not endless appeals."

"Fracking has the potential to play a part in solving the UK's energy crunch, and create new energy-related jobs in many areas," he added.

Meanwhile, North Yorkshire councillor Peter Sowray has said he was "comfortable with the outcome" as "it's just one well":

It will take time for it to calm down, for some people it never will but we have made a decision today, the majority of members voted that way, and I'm comfortable with the outcome.

People said they'd come to live in a beautiful area and they want it to stay that way but fracking this one well is not going to affect that beautiful area.

It's just one well, one existing well that's going to be fracked. It's not going to be hundreds of wells, it's just one well, that's all we're talking about.

– Peter Sowray, North Yorkshire councillor

North Yorkshire ruling 'a difficult decision'

North Yorkshire councillors voted 7-4 in favour of fracking

North Yorkshire council's chief executive Richard Flinton has said the decision to allow Third Energy to frack in Kirby Misperton was "very difficult" but won't have a bearing on future applications.

Mr Flinton said: "This has been a very difficult decision for the council to make and we know it is a difficult decision for the people of this county."

"We are proud of our beautiful county which attracts so many visitors and maintains a thriving tourism industry. We have no intention of jeopardising those qualities and our rural industries and livelihoods."

"In this case there has already been drilling for gas on this site over many years. The decision taken today does not have a bearing on future decisions. Each application of this nature will be decided upon based on its own merits," he added.


Friends of the Earth: Fracking risk 'unacceptable'

Protesters demonstrated against fracking in North Yorkshire Credit: John Giles / PA Wire

Friends of the Earth has labelled North Yorkshire council's decision to allow Third Energy to frack in the area as 'unacceptable'.

Simon Bowens, Yorkshire and Humberside campaigner for Friends of the Earth said: "This is an absolute travesty of a decision but the battle is very far from over."

"Today seven 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."

Greenpeace: Fracking fight not over

A protester outside County Hall, Northallerton Credit: John Giles / PA Wire

Greenpeace has criticised the decision by North Yorkshire council to allow Third Energy to frack for shale gas in the near the village of Kirby Misperton.

Daisy Sands, Greenpeace's head of energy campaign said: "Given the pro-fracking bias from central government, there was an air of inevitability about this bitterly disappointing decision."

"It is striking that the overwhelming number of speakers giving evidence at the two-day hearing were against fracking and Ryedale Parish Council voted against fracking at its back door, but North Yorks Council has overlooked this and the many, many concerns that were raised locally."

"But this isn't over and people will continue to raise their very valid concerns and keep fighting against fracking because it will industrialise the beautiful Yorkshire countryside and contribute to climate change," she added.

Back to top

Latest ITV News reports