Concerns raised about fracking at latest Frack Free North Yorkshire meeting

Gazette & Herald: Friends of the Earth member Josie Downs Friends of the Earth member Josie Downs

MORE than 50 concerned residents attended a meeting to find out more about fracking and the potentially damaging impact it could have on Ryedale.

Campaign group Frack Free North Yorkshire held a meeting last Friday evening at the Friends Meeting House, in Greengate, Malton, to inform individuals about fracking and encourage them to say no to the controversial process, which is being supported by the Government.

The area has been branded as potentially suitable for fracking and drilling licences have already been granted for several areas across the region.

Josie Downs, a member of Ryedale’s Friends of the Earth, who helped to organise the meeting, said that ,any of the 60 people who attended voiced their concerns during the question and answer session.

“We saw a lot of new faces at the meeting and most of the people who were there were really worried about fracking,” said Mrs Downs.

“Our local MP Anne McIntoshwas there and she had some concerns as well.”

Those at the meeting were also shown a film about how communities in Australia had suffered from fracking and had struggled to cope.

Worries had previously been raised regarding an existing well site at Kirby Misperton after exploratory drilling took place last year.

Viking UK Gas Ltd, the company which has the drilling permission for the site, sent off some drilling samples for analysis at the end of last year to see if fracking in the area would be possible.

A spokesman for the company, which is a subsidiary of Third Energy Ltd, said that the results were not yet known despite the results originally expected back at about Christmas time.

He said: “We are expecting something back sometime in the Spring. Sometimes further analysis needs to take place which can take longer.”

Viking also manages the generating station at Knapton and last year the company was granted permission to create a gas conditioning plant at Ebberston Moor.

Mrs Downs is encouraging people to submit their views to North Yorkshire County Council, City of York Council and the North York Moors National Park Authority’s minerals and waste joint plan. She said: “We have a significant opportunity to make a difference here. I would encourage people to submit their concerns.”

The consultation period will run until Friday, April 11 at 5pm. For more information about how to submit your views, visit www.northyorks.gov.uk

A drop-in session about the minerals plan is being held in Helmsley library on Friday, from 1pm to 6pm.

Frack Free North Yorkshire will hold their next meeting on Friday, March 7, at the Blue Ball Inn, Newbiggin, Malton, at 7.30pm.

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