Protests at meeting to decide if fracking should be approved in North Yorkshire

Protests outside the meeting in North Yorkshire Credit: ITV Calendar

Hundreds of protesters have gathered outside a meeting which will decide if the country's first fracking is approved in North Yorkshire.

It was recommended last week that permission should be granted to Third Energy to frack for shale gas on the edge of the village of Kirby Misperton.

What is fracking?

  • Fracking is a technique used to drill for deposits of fossil fuels that cannot be extracted by conventional means.

  • It involves pumping fluids into rocks at such high pressures they fracture, releasing the gas or oil locked inside.

  • Critics say the process is disastrous for the environment, leading to pollution of ground water and even triggering earthquakes.

  • Britain is thought to have large deposits of shale gas that can be exploited by using the method.

The site where fracking could take place near Kirby Misperton Credit: ITV Calendar

In August the Government announced new measures to speed up the process by which companies can apply for planning permission at drill sites.

Energy ministers said the plans would both ensure local people have a "strong say" over the development of shale exploration in their area and benefit communities and firms by speeding up the planning process.

North Yorkshire County Council's report recommended the project should go ahead as it would help to provide for the nation's energy needs and said there would be sufficient safeguarding measures put in place to protect the environment.

Third Energy respond

Third Energy say:

  • KM8 is a well that was drilled in 2013 so this application covers activity at an existing well

  • No drilling is involved

  • The hydraulic fracturing operations will last just eight weeks. This includes mobilisation and demobilisation of equipment.

  • There will be significantly less traffic and noise, and for a shorter period, than when Third Energy drilled the well in 2013

  • Kirby Misperton is not in , and some miles away from the North York Moors National Park

  • The wellsite has been there for over thirty years, and will remain operational irrespective of the outcome of this planning application