District Councillors have sent a clear message to North Yorkshire County Council that hydraulic fracturing is not welcome in Ryedale.
In a council chamber packed with over 100 anti-fracking campaigners, Planning Committee members voted to recommend to the county council, who will make the final decision on the Third Energy application to frack at Kirby Misperton, that they refuse planning permission.
Speaking after the meeting, Sue Gough, whose home is just two miles from the proposed site where Third Energy want to frack at Kirby Misperton, said:
“I am delighted that the Ryedale District Council Planning Committee has listened to the views of local residents, who are overwhelmingly against fracking coming to Ryedale, and sent a strong message to the North Yorkshire County Council against it granting this planning permission.
“A dark cloud will hang over Ryedale until the final decision is made in Northallerton, but I hope the county councillors will take a lead from Ryedale and reject the application from Third Energy.
“The risks associated with fracking in terms of health and well-being, wrecking of the environment and irreparable damage to our tourism, agriculture and other business is too high a price to pay and do they really want to be remembered as the committee who brought about the destruction of the beautiful area that we live in?”
Councillor Di Keal said:
“This was a great decision by members of the planning committee who have sent a resounding message to the county council that we don’t want to see this hugely damaging industry decimate Ryedale.
“But this is just one hurdle – the bigger battle will come when the County Council meet to make a decision on the Third Energy application next month. This is one of the biggest decisions that county council members will ever have to make which will have a major impact on the area for generations to come. I hope that they will listen carefully to the views of the local people they represent.
“Ryedale has shown that this is shouldn’t be a party political decision – tonight’s decision had cross-party support – it should be made on what is right for Ryedale residents now and in the future”.
And the final word from Ryedale District Council… ‘Recommendation to NYCC that Ryedale District Council recommends refusal of the application. The proposed development is likely to have significant adverse impacts in relation to noise, air quality, ecology, disposal of waste water, additional disturbance from HGVs and likely detrimental impacts on the tourist economy. The proposal is therefore contrary to planning policies contained in the adopted Ryedale Plan – Local Plan Strategy’.
Ryedale District Council will hold an Extraordinary General Meeting at the Milton Rooms, Market Place, Malton, North Yorkshire at 18.30 on Tuesday 17th February 2015
The Council have called an EGM in response to the growing concern in Ryedale over the wish of Third Energy to exploit shale gas by hydraulic fracturing. This follows closely on from the public debate ‘Unpacking fracking’ held at the same venue on 4th February 2015.
The motion is proposed by Councillor Clark and seconded by Councillor Woodward and states
‘In view of the following facts:-
It follows that:-
The council are being advised by their solicitor and monitoring officer Anthony Winship that the proposed motion is in his opinion flawed and unlawful with potential financial implications for the council.
In recent days on the run up to the meeting 2 councillors have resigned from their parties as reported in the Gazette and Herald.
‘District and county councillor Lindsay Burr has resigned from the Liberal Democrat Party. Coun Burr, who has been a member of the Lib Dems for more than 20 years, tendered her resignation on Monday 9th February 2015. She said: “I feel the party has somewhat lost its true direction and my values are no longer aligned to the party. I am particularly against fracking and in the light that Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, is supporting fracking, my position has become untenable, as a matter of principle.
Councillor Shane Collinson, who represents Ryedale South West on the district council is also understood to have resigned from the Conservative group. He was unavailable for comment.’
David Davis the petition organiser for Frack Free Ryedale said ‘I call on all the Ryedale Councillors to vote with their conscience. If fracking proceeds in Ryedale it will make life intolerable for many with the industrialisation of the countryside. People will have to live every day and night with excessive amounts of traffic, noise, light and emissions. If Third Energy are granted planning permission Kirby Misperton will be just the first site of several super sized wellsites which will come to occupy the landscape of Ryedale. It will change the way of life forever in this largely rural community leaving a long lasting legacy of health and environmental problems.’
The Government have decided to press ahead with their plans to frack below UK citizens’ homes without their permission after ministers decided to ignore the results of a DECC consultation about the new trespass laws.
There were a total of 40,647 responses to a consultation on the move to give oil and gas companies underground access without needing to seek landowners’ permission, with 99% opposing the legal changes. Setting aside the 28,821 responses submitted via two NGO campaigns, 92% of the remaining responses objected to the proposals.
The UK government argued that the current ability for people to block shale gas development under their property would lead to significant delays and that the legal process by which companies can force fracking plans through was costly, time-consuming and disproportionate.
Good to see democracy alive and well in the UK, isn’t it? You wonder why they bothered asking us in the first place. Read more about this disgraceful decision in the Telegraph or the Guardian, and watch a news report on this on YouTube.
Meanwhile, in Scotland, ministers are demanding the right to decide for themselves.
Scotland’s energy minister, Fergus Ewing, said: “UK government proposals to remove the right of Scottish householders to object to drilling under their homes, without so much as debate in the Scottish Parliament, flies in the face of Scotland’s cautious, considered and evidence-based approach on this issue.” Read more on the BBC website or in the Scottish Daily Record.
As you may know, there is a planning application for an injection well and other works at Ebberston Moor in the North York Moors National Park. If you’ve looked at the planning application, you’ll see that there are hundreds of documents and thousands of pages.
For this reason, the two authorities that are responsible for the application – the North Yorkshire County Council and the North York Moors National Park Authority – have kindly agreed to an extension of the time available for people to comment on this application, after consultation with Frack Free Ryedale and Frack Free North Yorkshire.
The deadline for comments on this application is now 24th October 2014. For written confirmation of this, please see this document, from the NYCC planning website: 140910_Extension-to-consultation-period
We have some experts looking at the application in detail and will be posting some guidelines on how best to object to this planning application as soon as we can. Watch this space!
Third Energy, the same company who is behind the survey in Ryedale, is set to begin working Ebberston Moor in the North York Moors after winning permission to get rid of a vast amount of potentially radioactive waste water – that will come up with the gas – by pumping it back into the ground.
According to documents seen by The Independent on Sunday, the Environment Agency (EA) has been warned that public water supplies could be affected. Yorkshire Water is concerned about the re-injection well which will travel through the rock from which they draw water, called the Corallian limestone aquifer. In submissions to the EA the water company said the water re-injection may “directly affect their asset”.
Russell Scott, of Frack Free Yorkshire, said: “Third Energy intends to inject via mechanical means a total of 5.88 million cubic metres of waste over a nine-year period. Third Energy’s suggestion this process will not have any negative impacts on the integrity of the well casing protecting our drinking water from the injected waste is simply ridiculous.”
Read the full article here.
This page on the Friends of the Earth website explains how West Sussex County Council were persuaded to turn down an application for exploratory shale drilling.
One of the tactics used by local people was a video showing how unsuitable their roads were for large lorries. You can view the video and a powerpoint presentation given at the council meeting here:
And you can read the Friends of the Earth blog about it 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.
From our correspondent:
“When I met Louise Hutchins, Greenpeace spokesperson on Energy and Climate change at the weekend, she told me that China is only two years away from making green energy products that will be competitively priced with fossil fuels. But guess what you can’t make the huge profits out of sun and wind power so the big energy companies aren’t interested! This article does not categorically state that there will never be fracking in National Parks or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, I think they are still keeping the door open. But the government are shocked to find large swathes of the country are against fracking, what a surprise !
even in the desolate north east!!!“
Meanwhile, our government will give the go-ahead on Monday [today] for a big expansion of fracking across Britain that will allow drilling in national parks and other protected areas in “exceptional circumstances”. Source: Guardian
This in spite of the known fact, as this article says very clearly, that by 2020 solar electricity will be competitive with fossil fuel electricity for 80% of the world’s population.
Solar electricity already is competitive for people who live in sunny countries. Within 6 years that will have spread to include less sunny countries like ours.
Source: Daily Telegraph
“The 130 resistance groups around the country have dealt a blow to those at the heart of shale gas and oil exploration.”
“The industry increasingly fears that, here, too, it is losing the ‘social licence’ of public support needed to operate successfully.”
“Forget all the hype about fracking bringing down gas prices here, as in the US (even the industry no longer believes that); or creating tens of thousands of jobs (you’d get far more per unit of energy from insulating buildings).”
Source: Daily Telegraph
Six of ten York councillors spoke out against fracking at the City of York council meeting this month.