Campaigners lose High Court fracking challenge

Anti-fracking campaigners

Anti-fracking campaigners

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A High Court judge has ruled that fracking can go ahead at Kirby Misperton.

Mrs Justice Lang ruled on Tuesday that North Yorkshire County Council had assessed the impact to climate change when it approved the Third Energy well near Flamingo Land.

Campaigners have said they will not give up the fight to stop the controversial method being undertaken in Ryedale.

Claimant in the case, Reverend Jackie Cray, said: “I’m obviously disappointed in the verdict but it doesn’t end here.

“There is no support in North Yorkshire for this risky industry.

“We will continue to campaign on behalf of local communities for the sake of our children and their children’s health and well-being, and the long term prosperity of our area. We are not prepared for Ryedale to become a sacrifice zone for the sake of industry greed.”

David Davis, one of the residents behind the legal action said: “We respect Mrs Justice Lang’s decision whose duty was to carefully interpret the law as it stands today. Our greatest disappointment is with the government, our own MP, and an industry who are conspiring to force fracking on unwilling communities with the threat of overruling any councils who refuse planning permission.

“Our own County Council failed to respect residents wishes and those of the District Council, five town councils and 14 parish councils in Ryedale who objected, and did not even have the courage to use the authority’s own draft Minerals and Waste Plan as a basis to throw out this application.

“Third Energy will now press ahead with its plans at Kirby Misperton.

“Sadly, this decision will open the floodgates to other fracking companies such as INEOS who together have plans for more than 14000 wells in Ryedale alone. Large areas of Yorkshire, the North and the Midlands are covered by Petroleum Exploration and Development licences for fracking which if exploited will lead to the widespread industrialisation of our countryside.”

Rasik Valand, chief executive of Third Energy, said: “The permission places a great obligation on Third Energy to prove that we can carry out the test fracs in the same safe, discreet and environmentally sensitive way that we have conducted our gas exploration and energy generation activities over the past two decades.

"We are confident that we will prove to the local community that their elected representatives were right to grant this permission.

"We look forward to the results of the test fracs which will help establish whether gas can be produced from deeper and tighter rock formations at the Kirby Misperton site.”