Anti-Fracking Group Tries To Overturn UK Shale Gas Planning Application

Anti-fracking campaigners took to the High Court Tuesday in a bid to overturn one of the first planning applications to carry out shale gas drilling in the UK.



Frack Free Ryedale, made up of residents from a small village in North Yorkshire, is protesting North Yorkshire County Council’s decision in May to allow Third Energy to frack in the area. The group has joined forces with Friends of the Earth to challenge the planning decision to allow hydraulic fracturing near their homes.

The Judicial Review, brought by Jackie Cray, from Kirby Misperton, near Malton, David Davis and Friends of the Earth will be heard Nov. 22 and 23 at the High Court in London, where a judge will decide whether or not Third Energy can proceed with its plans.

“North Yorkshire County Council failed in their legal duty to fully assess the impact this fracking application would have on the climate and in protecting their local communities against long term financial risks,” Friends of the Earth’s Yorkshire and Humber campaigner, Simon Bowens, said.

On May 23, councillors at North Yorkshire County Council voted in favour of Third Energy’s application 7 to 4 after two days of hearings.

"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," Reuters quoted Richard Flinton, North Yorkshire's chief executive, as saying.

Following news of the council’s permission, Rasik Valand, Third Energy’s chief executive, described the approval as a huge responsibility and vowed to deliver its commitment safely and without impacting the local environment.

Earlier this month, IGas was granted consent by Nottinghamshire Country Council to drill up to two exploratory wells in Misson Springs, North Nottinghamshire.

Subject to a legal agreement, IGas will now be permitted to undertake exploration work at its Springs Road site, close to Sheffield, in order to test whether the shale rock present is suitable for fracking. The company will have to apply for a separate permit to carry out fracking work.


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Bill Butler | Nov. 25, 2016
I think you will find that Lorraine Allanson is correct that there has been an enormous amount of misinformation out there provided by anti fracking groups and entities such as FoE. As for FFR reprsenting the majority in Ryedale you would also need to back that up with statistics and you cant. They few main ones have commented on here and it exposes one thing. They believe the garbage that is churned out against anything to do with shale gas. If Ryedale had been able to have an honest debate and the truth about how shale gas would be explored for in the UK it may have led to some sensible decisions. Instead we have had wave after wave of misinformation. No one can object to people being concerned but fight your battles with honesty. To berate the county council because you dont like their decision is a last desperate attempt to seal the fate of the UK gas industry. Once you have come up with a better plan to power this country and provide all the energy it requires please let us all know. So far renewables are only producing around 10% of our power NOT even that for energy. There is a huge difference. Lorraine may not be your cup of tea but she talks a lot of sense whether you like it or not and I fail to see that she has been deceptive in any way.

Sue Cuthbert | Nov. 24, 2016
Ms Allanson continues with her attacks on people who oppose fracking. I can say with absolute certainty that members of Frack Free Ryedale are local with one or two having to live out of the area .I am local and feel insulted by the suggestion that I am one of the usual eco warriors she mentions.I am in my 70s and have never been an activist,but I know that fracking is not good in any way. And by the way Ms Allanson,if fracking was to happen here,the very fine sand used in the fracking process could easily blow as far as London. In the US it has happened when this sand has been blown several hundred miles into neighbouring states

Anne Stewart | Nov. 24, 2016
How wonderful to see all the people from Ryedale who had made it to the court, I couldnt, but joined everyone at Kirby Misperton village hall . Then to see how much support there was from around the world was truely uplifting.Surely Ms Allanson you should by now be able to see the bigger picture , yes, it goes beyond Ryedale, yes belief it or not, there are some people who care about other things not just their own little lives

Steve m | Nov. 23, 2016
La isnt it time you back off. I live 1 mile from the site and am proud to be part of the ffr engine room. I am also in eco builds locally in ryedale so know a little bit more about how to keep lights on than a bandb owner. Its very hypocritical for you speak out against a gas processing plant near you house. (Re article in yorkshire post) to being pro fracking when its 10 miles away. Ultimate nimby. You know its ironic but I wonder if you actions havent galvanised us more... thank you for adding to our dedication. Btw if you are in the industry and reading this why do you have LA as you mouth piece. It seems very counter productive. Just saying!!!

Susannah Turton | Nov. 23, 2016
FFR is local to Ryedale. I am a local, my neighbours who support FFR are local and many of us have never been activists before but we have lived here for a long time; some for generations. I happen to live in Pickering but if I lived in Helmsley I would still live in Ryedale and still be inconvenienced by, concerned, worried and anxious about a nearby rural area suddenly being under the threat of metamorphosing into an industrialized one. Until recently, not many people had heard of fracking or Ryedale so it would be unlikely that most of the support was from elsewhere. I hope this clarifies any confusion. I cant understand where your misinformation has come from but rest assured that we are local and very present in the community.

ian conlan | Nov. 23, 2016
Frack Free Ryedale consists of Ryedale residents, lots and lots of them, having local meetings, campaigning locally, and having lots of local support. The local parish and town councils and local Ryedale District Council have opposed fracking plans in their submissions on this application and many have passed antifracking policies, including the District Council and all 5 town councils. Local people marched in March last year in Malton a few miles from the well site, against fracking by their hundreds, I know they are local because I live in Malton and see them and know them in my daily life. We have support from people across the country and the world, but here in Ryedale they are overwhelmingly people who had no activist past, and come from right across the political spectrum, and income range from farmers to big landowners, country and town people, business owners and workers. The oil and gas industry has got a huge groundswell of opposition facing them in our communities, who have read scientific papers, and huge amounts of evidence that have led them to conclude that fracking is a grave threat to their health and wellbeing, their businesses, their house prices, and much more.

Nick | Nov. 23, 2016
All the people I know involved in Frack Free Ryedale are local people. Just saying doesnt make it true. I have been to meetings in several places and they were ALL local. No, frack free Ryedale are far from local Not true. Stating is not proving A few are but the majority are the usual eco warriors who fight fracking from all over the country. Not true. Less than a quarter of the residents from the village wrote objection letters to NYCC. Is your suggestion that 3/4 voted for? That would be totally untrue. Im sure you know how many residents voted for. Definitely not three quarters which your na´ve way statistics tries to suggest The campaign by FFR has always been fuelled by people who live in London, 250 miles away. Not true. As you well know there are some people who dont live here all the time but have strong connections. FoE led a very scandalous campaign full of misinformation on purpose to get the people of this country to be frightened about fracking. This boosts their membership. I advise everyone to look at their published accounts and their wages bill In relation to the number of staff. Nice work if you can get it. Rather than just generalising. Be specific. There is nothing in your post that says anything that is based in fact. It is generalised waffle that says nothing just infers. Many of the residents are not of voting age. In the last census in 2011 Kirby Misperton had 370 residents of whom 24.4% were under the age of 15 - are you counting them? If not residents is a meaningless parameter. If you boil your post down it says - A lot of people voted against - NOT a small number. Unless you want four year olds to put their views? Or perhaps writing is very advanced in this place. How many voted for? It would be helpful if you gave an actual number of the residents who voted for. Then I could have an informed view. Statistics are a silly thing as they are so easily disputed especially when built on nothing

John Moran | Nov. 23, 2016
Lorraine......I wish the anti fracking people would get a life. They have no idea how the process works. If they did, they would not be out there protesting. They choose to believe and be frightened by the misinformation posted online by the anti-frackers like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth who also dont understand a thing about the process. Sue writes protect residents properly. From what??? There will be absolutely no effect on her property, even if she lived 500 feet away from the well.

Sue Gough | Nov. 23, 2016
And fracking company Third Energy are registered in the Cayman Islands where they avoid paying U.K. tax, your point being Lorraine? I am one of the Yorkshire Nanas, a group who have been raising awareness about this issue for the last 2 1/2 years - my home is 1 mile away from the well site as the crow flies. I was outside the High Court yesterday with 12 of my neighbours, and it was great to see some young Londoners there turning out to support us. Its becoming a national issue thanks to the efforts of groups like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth. This Judicial Review - whatever the result - is shining a light on the Planning Committee at North Yorkshire County Council that failed to carry out due process to protect residents properly. Hopefully it is also making investors like Barclays, who own 97% of Third Energy, shareholders think twice about where they put their money.

Lorraine Allanson | Nov. 22, 2016
Just a point. No, frack free Ryedale are far from local. A few are but the majority are the usual eco warriors who fight fracking from all over the country. Less than a quarter of the residents from the village wrote objection letters to NYCC. The campaign by FFR has always been fuelled by people who live in London, 250 miles away. FoE led a very scandalous campaign full of misinformation on purpose to get the people of this country to be frightened about fracking. This boosts their membership. I advise everyone to look at their published accounts and their wages bill In relation to the number of staff. Nice work if you can get it.

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