MEMBERS of an anti-fracking campaign group have reacted angrily to suggestions that the government should make the search for shale gas “an urgent priority" for areas such as Ryedale where the potential for fracking has been identified.

Frack Free North Yorkshire, set up to support the fight against fracking, has so far campaigned tirelessly against planning applications from drilling companies and has held meetings in a bid to raise awareness of the issues surrounding the controversial process.

Russell Scott, of Frack Free North Yorkshire said that the government is refusing to listen to their concerns and believes that the negatives of fracking far outweigh any positives the government is suggesting.

He said: “The House of Lords desperate push to impose fracking on our communities is another example of this government not listening to concerns of the public.

“The risks associated with fracking far outweigh the positives. This country needs an energy plan built around clean, reliable and renewable energy. The public want this approach but yet again the government is not listening.”

In a report from the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee calls were made for the government to speed up fracking developments across the country with suggestions that it would have “substantial benefits” including reducing energy imports and creating new jobs.

Chairman of the committee Lord MacGregor, said: “The Committee strongly supports the Government’s decision to go ‘all out for shale.’

“But here in the UK we have not yet left the starting gate. Developing a successful shale gas industry in the UK must be an urgent national priority.”

The Gazette & Herald has previously reported that Ryedale residents were worried about the potential for trespassing laws to change which would allow drilling to take place under people's homes without their consent.

But a recent YouGov survey of 1.898 people showed that the majority of the population - a total of 74 per cent - were against changing the laws.

Members of Greenpeace, Friends of The Earth and Frack Free North Yorkshire have also raised concerns about water pollution and even the shocking potential for chemicals from the fracking process to cause cancer but the Committee said that “risks of harm to the environment or human health are low” and that “complex regulation may be causing unnecessary delays.”