As people in Yorkshire are becoming increasingly concerned about oil developments in the North York Moors national park, there is some positive news about another National Park in the south of England.
Plans for exploratory oil drilling in the South Downs National Park have been recommended for refusal by the park’s authority. Officers from the park’s authority said the company had failed to demonstrate that “exceptional circumstances” exist for the work and that it was in the public interest. The final decision is to be made on Thursday 11th September.
Let’s hope the North York Moors National Park Planning Committee take note!
Read the full article here.
North Yorkshire County Councillor Lindsay Burr has said that she is ‘against fracking, especially in Ryedale’ and that ‘fracking is an accident waiting to happen.’ She also adds: ‘I don’t want Ryedale to be caught up in an accident or worse, turn in to a min-Texas’.
Cllr Burr, writing in her monthly column in the Gazette & Herald, says that she has been deliberately quiet regarding fracking up to now, but is now ‘worried about the roofs over our heads and the ground beneath our feet’ and that the loss of open spaces and increases in lorry transport are ‘certainties’.
She also adds that ‘ministers need to stop encouraging the large energy companies to apply for licences and ensure residents are put before profits’. Read her full column here – her comments on fracking begin in the fifth paragraph.
Frack Free Ryedale welcomes Cllr Burr’s timely comments on the threat of fracking in the area, and are pleased to see that councillors are now prepared to voice their private concerns in public.
We would. however, like to correct one thing in the article. Cllr Burr says that she understands ‘that our national park is protected, thank goodness’. However, this is untrue. Although the government announced on 28th July that they were tightening guidelines for fracking in National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), fracking in these areas can still be allowed in ‘exceptional circumstances and in the public interest’. Given that the government’s argument is that all fracking is ‘in the national interest’, and the final decision can be made by the government itself, this feels like no protection at all.
In fact, one only has to look at the situation developing at Ebberston Moor, in the North York Moors National Park, to see that fracking is a very real threat. Third Energy have recently been granted permission to inject millions of gallons or radioactive water back into the ground – all without any Environmental Impact Assessment on the consequences.
Read moor – sorry, more! – on this story here.
For reference, here is the government’s own policy on how it is planning to enable fracking in AONBs, National Parks, and even World Heritage Sites.
The policy should of course be “We will not consider fracking in these areas under any circumstances. These areas are special and we must keep and protect them as such. Anyone who has needs energy must find an alternative solution, rather than damaging or destroying any of these unique areas.”
See also German policy.
The North York Moors National Park is to cut more staff and scale back its operations after another cut to its budget.
A meeting on Monday will discuss plans to save £720,000 over the next year with the loss of 13 posts.
Andy Wilson, chief executive of the park authority, claimed the cuts would leave the park less well protected.
Since 2010, the authority’s grant from central government has dropped by more than 24%.
The headline says that national Parks will be “saved” from fracking.
The small print says “except in exceptional circumstances”.
A pity they’ve already given planning permission for a massive injection well at Ebberston, inside the National Park.
Injecting waste water underground (as is planned for Ebberston, inside the North York Moors national park) causes significant earthquakes.
Source: Online blog