AN application for fracking in Ryedale has failed to be validated by North Yorkshire County Council for a second time.

The council's planning department has written to gas company Third Energy, which has applied to carry out test fracks in Kirby Misperton, outlining the reasons which relate to the posting of notices of the application, which is a legal requirement.

Anti-fracking campaigners revealed an initial letter from the county council last week which raised concerns over the application. The nine-page letter catalogued reasons as to why the application form, submitted by Third Energy in May could not be validated.

Chris Redston, of Frack Free Ryedale, said: "We are astonished to hear that Third Energy's application as failed to be validated for the second time, and we are starting to wonder if this fracking application is from Third Energy or the Three Stooges."

Sue Gough, of Frack Free Kirby Misperton, said: "The fact that Third Energy failed to inform nearby landowners or the general public correctly about the proposed fracking application tells you all you need to know about the company's competence.

"If they are unable to fill in site notice forms correctly or inform the public in the proper manner, even at the second time of asking, how on earth can they be allowed a licence to frack?"

A spokesman for Third Energy said: “The planning application has not yet been validated as duly made by the North Yorkshire County Council.

"This is due to differing interpretations of statutory legislation regarding notices required. We are communicating with the council and our application is proceeding.”

* A public talk on fracking has been organised by Dr Tim Thornton, the Ryedale District Councillor for Pickering West.

Facts before Fracks: Investigating the health and social impacts of fracking, will take place at Lady Lumley's School, in Pickering, on Wednesday, July 29, at 6.30pm.

Guest speakers are Professor Patrick Saunders, public health expert and former associate director of Public Health for the NHS, Dr Jill Sutcliffe, environmental scientist and former senior botanical coordinator for Natural England; and the Right Reverend Graham Cray, Honorary Assistant Bishop of the Diocese of York.

Free entry and refreshments will be provided.