In the past few minutes, councillors in Ryedale have voted against plans to frack near the village of Kirby Misperton.
The district council ‘s planning committee recommended refusal of the scheme by Third Energy to frack its existing KM8 well.
The vote was seven for, one abstention and two against – though it is thought these were the result of pushing the wrong voting button.
This was a key test for the plan. The final decision will be made by North Yorkshire County Council, possibly next month.
Frack Free Ryedale said:
“This is absolutely fantastic news.
“It is more than we could have hoped for. It sends a clear message to North Yorkshire County Council that it needs to listen to local people”.
In a statement, Third Energy, said:
“Third Energy will review the Ryedale District Council Planning Committee proceedings to understand on what planning grounds it has reached this conclusion.”
“It is important to remember that Ryedale District Council is only one of many statutory consultees on this application, whose views will be taken into account by North Yorkshire County Council.”
More reaction coming soon.
The meeting in Malton was greeted by a demonstration of opponents to the plans and the council chamber was packed with members of the public.
Councillors ignored the advice of officers who had said there were no grounds to object to the application because of noise. They had also said impacts on traffic, air quality and water could be controlled by “strict compliance with stringent conditions”.
But in a report to the planning committee, the council’s Environmental Health Officer said Third Energy must agree to a set of conditions or the application would be considered unacceptable.
One of the conditions would be to prevent fracking on Sundays and bank holidays. The Environmental Health Officer also said the predicted noise level of 70 decibels for eight weeks during fracking and site preparation would be “very disturbing” and should be reduced.
The report also said traffic serving the KM8 site would increase traffic on a section of a proposed cycle route by 259%. The council’s Economy and Community Manager had said any increase in traffic would have “a detrimental effect upon the rural character and therefore attractiveness of the [cycle] route – particularly to less confident cyclists, including younger families”.