Press release – 18th November 2016

Campaigners will bring a landmark case to court this week in a bid to overturn one of the first planning applications to carry out fracking in England.

Residents from a small village in North Yorkshire have joined forces with Friends of the Earth to challenge a 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 on 22 and 23 November at the High Court in London.

Fracking company Third Energy was granted permission by North Yorkshire County Council in May 2016 to frack just 1/4 mile from Jackie’s home in the village, but aspects of the decision are now being challenged.

The case will be heard at a ‘rolled up hearing’ when the judge will decide whether the county council properly took into account the full impact on climate change. The claim also concerns the council’s financial protection 
for local residents against the long-term environmental damage of the fracking.

Reverend Jackie Cray said:
“This application was opposed by the Ryedale District Council, every Ryedale town council, 15 parish councils, businesses such as Flamingo Land, the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, the Castle Howard Estate, and dozens of other groups and local businesses. The County Council received 4,375 objections against the application and only 36 letters in favour, yet still approved the plans. We can’t call this democracy.”

Friends of the Earth’s Yorkshire and Humber campaigner, Simon Bowens, said:
“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.

“We are really fired up for our day in court because shale gas is a dirty fossil fuel. It’s why we are calling on the judge to see that justice is done for the community of Kirby Misperton and for the millions of people affected by catastrophic climate change.

“We can’t afford to allow the fracking industry to just go on putting communities across the world at risk by developing a new, dirty, fossil fuel.”


For more information and to arrange interviews contact Frack Free Ryedale Press Team at or the
Friends of the Earth press office on or 020 7566 1649/07718 394786 (out of hours).

Notes to editors:

• Frack Free Ryedale is a community led campaign group which has brought together people from all walks of life and ages, business, agriculture, landowners and individuals from across the district who object to hydraulic fracturing.

• At the planning meeting on May 23rd North Yorkshire County Council approved Third Energy’s planning application to carry out hydraulic fracturing at Kirby Misperyon despite receiving 4,375 objections and only 36 letters in support.

• Members of Frack Free Ryedale and Friends of the Earth have applied for a judicial review against the North Yorkshire County Council decision.

• Friends of the Earth and members of Frack Free Ryedale have instructed Leigh Day solicitors and David Wolfe, QC.

 The process of hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, involves pumping water, sand and chemicals at high pressure into underground rock formations to release gas. Friends of the Earth will continue to support communities everywhere to make sure Britain stays frack free.
To donate to Frack Free Ryedale’s fighting fund, click here.
This story has so far been covered in the Yorkshire Post, the Northern Echo and the York Press.