The fight goes on, say fracking opponents after Yorkshire approval


Hearing the result outside County Hall in Northallerton

Opponents of fracking vowed to continue their fight following the approval by North Yorkshire County Council of what could be the first fracked well in the UK for over five years.

At just before 7pm, the council’s planning committee voted by seven to four in favour of Third Energy’s application to frack its existing well at Kirby Misperton in Ryedale. The decision, after two long days of evidence and discussion, came despite more than 4,000 objections and a petition of more than 2,500 signatures.

Campaigners against the proposal, more than 70 of whom addressed the committee, promised the fight wasn’t over.

Friends of the Earth and the local group, Frack Free Ryedale, said they were considering a judicial review.

Sue Gouth

Sue Gough, from Little Barugh (above), launched a people’s declaration opposing fracking. She told the crowd that had waited all day for the result outside county hall at Northallerton:

“Today we resolve to continue to fight to remain free from fracking, to protect our communities, our beautiful countryside, our air and water, and to protect the future of the planet. We ask people across the country to join us by supporting this declaration.”

She said: “We are extremely disappointed that North Yorkshire County Council has not listened to the overwhelming wishes of the locally elected representatives of Ryedale and local people and has approved Third Energy’s application to frack in our county.

“This decision is not in our name. We know that Third Energy and their backers Barclays bank are the only ones that stand to benefit from these fracking plans. This application would put at risk Yorkshire’s beautiful landscape and the tourism industry that inspires millions of visitors each year and supports thousands of jobs.

“We have a positive democratic vision for Yorkshire and the UK with thriving rural economies, clean air and water, producing the green energy like solar power we need to protect our children’s future, and creating the thousands of green jobs along with it.

“We urge and will support the Government to develop a balanced long term energy policy that will achieve our globally agreed climate change targets.

Cllr Blackie

Cllr John Blackie, a late substitute on the planning committee, (above) made the strongest criticism of the application during the meeting. He told councillors:

“I expected greater scrutiny and challenge from this planning authority. We have been too easily satisfied and we haven’t gone the extra mile to ensure that this stacks up. I don’t think it does.”

After the decision he told the crowd:

“I am very sorry that you are going home tonight disappointed”

He urged opponents of fracking to fight every future application with the same passion that they fought this one. “The next time around I will be there supporting you all the way.

Lyndsay Burr

Fellow councillor, Lyndsay Burr (above), who represents Kirby Misperton, said: “This is not the end. We will continue to fight. Ryedale wil not be known as the fracking capital of Yorkshire.”

Simon Bowens, the Yorkshire campaigner for Friends of the Earth (below), said county councillors had “turned their back on their local community” and “allowed this dirty dangerous industry to come into our beautiful place.”

SimonBowen edited

But he added:

“That’s one well. One well is where it stops. We will struggle and we will fight to ensure that that is all.

“We will regather, we will bring ourselves together to make sure that we build the movement community by community, street by street, house by house to make sure that not just four thousand people, not just twenty thousand people but the whole of North Yorkshire is with us in our struggle to keep our beautiful county the way we like it – clean, healthy, economically vibrant with a great quality of life for the people who live there.

“Friends of the Earth will be with you every step of the way on that.”

Jake White, the legal officer for Friends of the Earth, said of a judicial review:

“It is always a possibility. There is work to do to go through the decision and talk to people who might be interested. There are routes that are worth looking into in the planning officer’s report.”

Ian ConlonIan Conlon, of Frack Free Ryedale (pictured), said:

“The council made mistakes. It is not over yet. We will fight on. We have an opinion from a barrister. We will be guided by our legal team over the next few weeks. There are a lot of things that we are concerned about the process.”

He added: “There are a lot of people talking about civil disobedience: that’s families and local residents. Families are determined to stop this.

“It has come down to fight or flight. People are already starting to leave Ryedale. People don’t want Ryedale to become a sacrifice zone.”

Cllr Paul Andrew, deputy mayor of Malton, said:

“We have lost the battle but we have not lost the war. It is time to get political. We have to be prepared to put ourselves up for election. If we won’t they will walk all over us.”

And a campaigner against Cuadrilla’s plans to frack in Lancashire, Gayzer Frackman, said:

“Do not believe that the decision has been made to frack. Yorkshire will stop fracking. We will united the roses. We will stop fracking.”

Live updates from the committee

Breaking news of the result

Approval is one step, says industry

This report is part of DrillOrDrop’s Rig Watch project. Rig Watch receives funding from the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust. More details here

30 replies »

  1. When will people realise we don’t live in a democracy.We are capitalist slaves.Simple.

  2. I took an interest in watching for quakes as far back as 2011, Google earth made it easy to watch as it happened, from the small to the large. Oklahoma was among the first to take up on fracking in the USA and it wasn’t long before you could see a few of minor quakes – most were just 1 on the scale and there were only a few a month back then.

    For those of you who are curious, download google earth and use the link below to get a live quake feed data. This link will show you quakes as they occur all over the world as they occur for the week.


    Relatively few quakes occurred in any given month at the start, then the first 1.1 – 1.2 quakes started showing up – but frequency and size have kept climbing slowly. As of 2016 the quake standard has risen to 1.5 – 2.5 across more than half of Oklahoma, with some of the latest now 2.8 – 3.6. they have had as many as 35 above 3.0 in a single month – can you imagine that here?

    Consider that prior to 2009 – the start of fracking there, they had just a couple of minor quakes a YEAR!

    Should any major problem occur like water table contamination, Oklahoma has the rest of the USA to support it. The same cannot be said for the UK, that’s a concern for all of us.

    You can see more in the link below from an article in 2015.


    I put this news article to others last year, but somehow people just aren’t taking it up. Just like the EU referendum, in the end it will be the lack of information that will sway people and another bad decision could be made.

    • R Abraham, do not hold your breath for a response from fracking industry supporters. It would be appear to be an on going trend that when any difficult questions or reports are levelled at them, there is a Deadly Silence .

      I agree with your comments regarding the EU referendum.
      I disagree with your other comment….. There is a strong and ever increasing interest in the fracking industry. With a wealth of information at peoples fingertips. There is, much to the discomfort of the industry an ever growing number of people empowering themselves with some of the uncomfortable and very sobering truths about this extreme form of energy extraction.

      I suggest you, as I do, repeatedly keep posting your questions and comments on this forum in the hope that one day you will recieve a satisfactory response from the fracking industry/supporters.

    • Just in jest of jack da nads comment, well, I’m not silent,and happy to congratulate the council on a well thought of,and sensible decision for the future prosperity of multi millionaires and tax for this once Great Britain. Weldone. Least I know the left wing communists always have voices,and voices to shut down anything you say or do. That’s what your the best at.
      Sorry R.Abrham,but if that’s what your watching in your valuable spare time,then may I suggest watching 906 on Sky after 10pm each day.Much better than an Oklahoma 3.2 reciter motion.Have a great weekend all,and remember,dont let the Commies back in .

      • Roy, on a lighthearted note for the weekend.

        Yes, I think we may of found common ground with our view points once again.
        It will indeed create quote, “multi millionaires”
        ( for the 1% and the 99% will be left to pick up the pieces. )

        Regards 🙂

  3. Post it around, I most cerainly have ‘jackthelad’. I am sure the ‘vested interest’ groups are trying hard to avoid facts coming out, just as I.D.Smith hid the report over the dreadful failure of the universal credit prior to the last election.

    Maybe he and many other Brexiteers have shares in the EU companies which own such large parts of British industry too, vote out then milk us dry …

    The quake matter was brushed off by fracking groups many years ago, now look at the situation. I’m sure they would like to keep it quiet – but I will keep posting.

    P.S. another 3 quakes in Oklahoma since my original post … 2.4/2.5/2.6, how quickly people forget the results of test drilling around Blackpool.

    • didn’t get the reference initially … but seemed familiar somehow!

      Take it you meant the big quake in San Francisco 1906, while any fracking may create grief in the long term, hope we wont see anything like that!

      But I wonder what they have considered as a worst possible scenario?

  4. I took a look at your channel Roy – it had some scantily clad lady asking if I fancied a quick frack. She said she’d do anything I wanted for cash. Apparently she could make the earth move for me if I only gave her my credit card details …

  5. There’d be no point asking you for a frack John Hobson, dead men don’t fall out windows.

    About the only thing you could crack would be a smile, and even then it’d be mistaken for gas.

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