Statement by Rev Graham Cray

I am a resident of Main Street Kirby Misperton. The granting of this application will cause immediate harm to this village, and undermine its long term wellbeing.

Immediate harm – Through traffic:
KM8 traffic will compete with Flaming Land traffic:
increasing the congestion and potential for accidents at the junction with the A169, worsening the bottleneck at the listed bridge over Costa Beck,
and again at the small roundabout and war memorial in the village.
A neighbour has reported two recent occasions when a lorry drove the wrong side of the roundabout, as he was approaching, because it was too tight a turn.
The lorries will be a major intrusion on Main St. which initially has no footpath on the side of the incoming traffic.
Recently an HGV from Magpie Drilling broke up tarmac outside the village hall.

Immediate harm through noise:
there is little noise disturbance from Flamingo Land.
But when Third Energy drilled their well it caused extreme distress to some residents. Recent work by Third Energy at Great Habton could also be heard in Brawby, Butterwick and Ryton.
This is unpleasant noise at a different pitch from the everyday.
As a local clergyman I fear the disruption of village christenings, weddings and funerals.

Immediate harm financially:
We already have instances of B&B cancellation, house prices dropped, house views cancelled, and newly weds advised not to buy a house in the village.

Long term damage will be caused by undermining tourism.
Who wants to holiday, or to cycle, in a gas field?
Flamingo Land adds value to Ryedale.
It gives more people reason to visit this beautiful area.
Fracking takes value away. It competes for the roads, and will undermine both the beauty of this area and its tourist potential.

Most recent public health research, on the impact of fracking in the USA, raises very serious concerns for the wellbeing of nearby communities, as I also discovered when I visited Pennsylvania.
We are half a mile from KM8, and at the peak season in Flamingo Land our total population becomes the equivalent of a market town.
To approve this application now is to reduce the population to guinea pigs. Does the committee really want to wait five years and then check who has fallen ill? And how would they know? At very least there needs to be detailed base line research on the current state of health of the population in all the surrounding villages.

Our elected representatives in the parish, town and district councils have all refused this application. Every village surveyed has large majorities against fracking. It has no social licence here, and can only be imposed upon communities that do not want it.

For the sake of Ryedale do not let this industry get a foot in the door.
It all starts with one well.

Rt. Revd. Graham Cray