Opposition

Breaking: Anti-fracking groups urge councillors to refuse Third Energy shale gas plans

Anti-fracking rallyMalton 25 Apr 2015Organised by Frack Free Ryedale

Anti-fracking rally in Malton

Opponents of shale gas have appealed to county councillors in North Yorkshire to overrule planners and refuse Third Energy’s application to frack at Kirby Misperton, in Ryedale.

Tonight, the council published a recommendation by planning officers that the scheme should be approved. The planning and regulatory functions committee meets on Friday 20 May to decide the application. DrillOrDrop post and links to report

The report conceded that many of the 4,000+ representations to the county council on the application were objections.

The campaign group, Frack Free Ryedale, has instructed a QC to outline how councillors can confidently reject fracking on defendable planning grounds as Lancashire did last year.

Ian Conlan, from Frack Free Ryedale, said tonight:

“This application is only ½ a mile from the village of Kirby Misperton and Flamingo Land, the single largest local tourist attraction and employer, which has recently objected to the application on health grounds and its cumulative impact.

“Flamingo Land join the thousands of residents, businesses, farmers and landowners that have objected to the application in unprecedented numbers to the County Council.

“When democratically elected councillors see the overwhelming opposition from our communities to fracking, and the votes of Ryedale District Council, all five Ryedale Town Councils, and numerous parish councils, we hope that they will recognise the strength of public opinion and turn this application down.”

David Davis, who lives in Hovingham, said:

“Residents have many serious concerns on the impacts of this particular application that are highly relevant in planning terms including exceptional traffic, noise, air pollution and visual impact on local residents, the precedent it would set for 1000s of wells across Ryedale, as well as concerns about the disposal of waste water.

“Ryedale District Council has already found it to be contrary to the Ryedale Plan, and we urge councillors to listen carefully to our arguments and the weight of public opposition and reject this application”.

Professor Nick Cowern, from Oswoldkirk, said:

“We now have substantive evidence that [shale] gas is worse than coal in terms of global warming emissions of fugitive methane combined with carbon dioxide, at least on timescales of several decades to a century which will affect our children and grandchildren.

“This of itself is enough to irrefutably rule out fracking as a way of meeting our climate change obligations. Shale gas is a fossil fuel, rapidly becoming obsolete as the world moves to a new energy future based on renewables”.

 

Friends of the Earth reaction

Friends of the Earth’s Yorkshire campaigner, Simon Bowens, said:

“While it is disappointing that planning officers have dismissed the serious risks of fracking in Ryedale, Third Energy shouldn’t be popping champagne corks yet.

“North Yorkshire Councillors have been presented with clear evidence that Third Energy’s application could harm local wildlife, local business, people’s health and the environment – including from Ryedale District Council, Flamingo Land and the Wildlife Trust.

“The council must now listen to the thousands of residents who have objected to fracking, and the strong evidence put before them, and reject Third Energy’s proposal to frack”.

Meeting details

Many Ryedale residents have applied to speak at the committee meeting at County Hall in Northallerton.

Frack Free Ryedale is predicting more than 1,000 people will take part in a demonstration outside the meeting. The fashion designer, Vivienne Westwood, is expected to be among speakers calling for a refusal of the application.

Another demonstration of supporters of fracking is also expected. People at both events will be able to follow the committee’s discussions through a live audio link.

Updated 13/05/2016 to correct link from video to audio

 

 

12 replies »

  1. How many letters of support were received? Unless I have missed this when quickly scanning through the report, which is quite possible, I did not see a figure quoted. I would be very interested to know and I think the public has a right to know.These figures should be disclosed as it reflects public opinion.

    I also seem to recall that there were accusations of mass fraud abounding several months ago. There is insufficient detail provided by NYCC on this matter in the report, because other than 39 emails that “bounced back” there seem to be only 4 other letters referred to and 2 of those were electronic pro forma. If there were circa 4000 objections and only 43 irregularities – in legal terms that could never constitute mass fraud. Furthermore, what was the purpose or motive of this alleged fraud because the number of objections does not determine/influence the decision, as the decision in planning is based upon material planning considerations, planning policy and guidance. Indeed one letter containing relevant material considerations can carry more weight than 1000s of letters that do not contain material considerations. The number merely reflects public opinion.

    NYCC must provide more detail on this matter because the public have a right to know and there appears to be little evidence or motive as to why those objecting to the application would need to resort to such tactics when the public opposition is overwhelmingly against. Also an individual can write multiple letters in support or opposition to a planning application, it is not limited like a general election where you are only legally entitled to one vote per person as each vote/number of votes will determine the outcome. The very nature of a planning application often requires further consultation and subsequent representations are made as new information becomes available.

    The publicity that surrounded this issue seems to have been completely disproportionate and legally prejudicial. I suspect now the scale has been stated more information will be demanded from NYCC, because mass fraud this was not.

  2. Vivienne Westwood? Wow! Read the last few editions of Private Eye and find out what she is really like. Personally I would vote for anything she objects to.

    KT – I expect very few letters of support were received, it is not normal in planning in UK for those who don’t object to write in support of any planning application. This has been discussed previously on this board. Supporters / neutrals trust the Planning Officers and statutory consulates to do their jobs and get on with their lives. I don’t have any problem with fracking KM-8 but I haven’t written a letter of support as it is not necessary.

    It is irrelevant how many many members of the public object / support an application under planning law. The famous Picles Localism Bill was in direct conflict with the NPPF and is dead in the water.

  3. Typo corrected

    Vivienne Westwood? Wow! Read the last few editions of Private Eye and find out what she is really like. Personally I would vote for anything she objects to.

    KT – I expect very few letters of support were received, it is not normal in planning in UK for those who don’t object to write in support of any planning application. This has been discussed previously on this board. Supporters / neutrals trust the Planning Officers and statutory consultees to do their jobs and get on with their lives. I don’t have any problem with fracking KM-8 but I haven’t written a letter of support as it is not necessary.

    It is irrelevant how many many members of the public object / support an application under planning law. The famous Picles Localism Bill was in direct conflict with the NPPF and is dead in the water

  4. Historically methane emissions have been ignored. This is not the case now with the current focus/pressure on reducing them. As per the IEA reducing fugitive emissions is an easy win and doesn’t require much investment.

    As per normal all we get is people looking at US data and dumping it on the UK as if they were EXACTLY equivalent.

    Anyone who is really interested in the science of this and not just looking for some sort of political point scoring would be looking at the differences, and also what can be done to correct any issues.

    I am sure that Professor Cowern means well, but when he ignores how simple, and cheap, it is to significantly reduce fugitive methane, as well as ignoring the significant sources/pathways in the US that can be directly regulated away (waste ponds, lack of green completions, shale oil field flaring etc) his opinion is no longer scientific. It is a basic logical error of not comparing like for like data.

    Obviously US oil and gas production has increased hugely over the past 10 years so we are left in this very strange position if the likes of Professor Cowern are correct. How is it that output from the sector has increased so much yet methane emissions have actually been decreasing? And that in spite of a lack of solid regulation? Obama has brought in new regulations today what should halve methane emissions again (they are down 43% since 2012 already).

    As per: http://www.ngsa.org/download/analysis_studies/NGC-Final-Report-4-25.pdf

    ‘The U.S. EPA Inventory of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks is the official inventory of U.S. human-influenced (“anthropogenic”)
    GHG emissions and the only economy-wide, national inventory of those GHGs. The EPA Inventory’s most recent report (2016 estimate
    of 2014 inventory) estimates that methane emissions comprise 10.6% of U.S. anthropogenic GHG emissions and methane emissions from the natural gas industry comprise 2.6% of total emissions.’

    and

    ‘The Inventory estimates that methane emissions from natural gas systems were equal to 1.4% of the volume of methane in
    U.S. natural gas produced in 2014.’

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s