Several hundred opponents of fracking from across northern England protested outside a seminar in Scarborough featuring senior executives of shale gas companies.
One group lay down blocking the main entrance of the Scarborough Spa conference centtre. Others shouted “shame on you” as speakers and delegates arrived.
Part of the protest included a “line in the sand” on the beach just outside the building.
The invitation-only event was targeted at businesses that could be part of the supply chain of a shale gas industry. Representatives of Scarborough Borough, Hambleton District and North Yorkshire County Councils had also been invited.
Some of the opponents were angry that the event had been held near Ryedale where a planning application by Third Energy for fracking which will be decided next month. But representatives of Ryedale District Council, which recommended refusal of the application, had not been invited.
One anti-fracking campaigner described the decision to hold the seminar in Scarborough as “rubbing out noses in it”.
Sue Gough, from Frack Free Ryedale, said:
“It is appalling that this event is being held in Scarborough, inviting councillors and businesses from the town and from Hambleton, but completely ignoring Ryedale, where Third Energy has its application in to frack at Kirby Misperton.”
“Ryedale is at the forefront of the opposition to fracking and the devastation it will bring to the countryside, local business and agriculture. It is inexcusable that local people have been excluded from this meeting”
Frack Free Scarborough said the protest was vital: “It’s the community’s health versus the gas companies’ profits. We won’t stop until the community wins.”
Local Green Party councillor, Mark Vesey, said: “We don’t want anyone coming to Scarborough promoting an industry that threatens our beautiful countryside and so callously puts profit before people and the planet.”
We are reporting the event live. Check here for updates.