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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