CONCERNED councillors and residents are pushing to know why an application to frack in Ryedale failed to pass its initial validation process.

An application applying for permission to frack in Kirby Misperton was submitted to North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) by gas company Third Energy late last month, but just weeks later it was revealed that the council had rejected the application and sent it back to Third Energy.

Ryedale district councillors and members of Frack Free Ryedale are eager to know why the application was sent back to Third Energy and say they have unanswered questions for the gas company.

Councillor Lindsay Burr said: “Questions need to be asked regarding this hugely important application as to exactly why it did not meet the planning application criteria.

“This gives me concern about Third Energy’s competence regarding their ability to frack in our neighbourhood.”

Sue Gough, who lives in Little Barugh, said that residents deserved to know the reasons behind the application failing the validation procedure.

She said: “Third Energy are claiming that they are ‘good neighbours’ yet they still refuse to tell local residents the reasons why their fracking application failed its validation test. We deserve to know the reasons.”

Third Energy plans to submit a revised application to North Yorkshire County Council to carry out test fracks in Kirby Misperton.

The application is to hydraulically fracture five zones at the company’s KM8 well site and if the application is granted and the test fracks successful, gas would be produced from one or more of the tested formations and sent to Third Energy’s Knapton generating station.

A spokesman for Third Energy said: “Third Energy has received a letter from North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) saying that it cannot validate its planning application for the proposed hydraulic fracturing at the KM8 well at Kirby Misperton and setting out the areas where they wish to see more clarification. Having reviewed NYCC’s feedback, Third Energy has decided to withdraw the current application. A new application will be made shortly, taking into account NYCC’s comments.”

The firm has not yet said why the application failed its validation process or when a new application will be submitted.

Meanwhile, it was announced on Monday that Lancashire County Council had rejected fracking plans for a site near Blackpool by shale gas explorer Cuadrilla, a development which Frack Free Ryedale said was significant.

Chris Redston, of the group, said: “We are delighted that Lancashire County Council has listened to the voices of the local people, the overwhelming majority of whom are strongly opposed to the fracking industry rolling across their fields and setting up shop on their doorstep.

“It is worth noting that these applications – which are two four-well test drilling sites – were rejected on the grounds of visual impact, unacceptable noise and large volumes of HGV traffic. These would be serious issues in Ryedale too if fracking were ever allowed in the area, along with other problems such as the industry’s impact on public health, and house prices.”