NORTH Yorkshire County Council‘s planning committee will be considering Third Energy's application to frack at Kirby Misperton on Friday, May 20, it has been announced.

The planning committee meeting is to be held at County Hall, Northallerton.

The County Council is currently finalising its report about the application, with reference to legal counsel, following consideration of detailed information provided by the applicant, along with responses from statutory consultees and over 4,000 representations.

Due to likely significant public interest in the committee meeting, the County Council is "making all necessary arrangements to ensure the meeting is managed safely and effectively".

This date is slightly later than anticipated, due to a further extension being sought by the council so the application can be fully evaluated by officers.

The planning committee will also be making a site visit prior to this meeting.

Announcement welcomed by Third Energy

Rasik Valand, chief executive of Third Energy said: “We are pleased that the North Yorkshire County Council has now set the date for the Planning & Regulatory Functions Committee to consider our application to hydraulically fracture certain sections within the existing KM8 well in Kirby Misperton.

"We look forward to the planning committee members’ visit to the operating well site in Kirby Misperton as they will have the opportunity to see the well site as it operates; understand the environmental protection measures already in place, and the high standards to which the site was built.

“We have taken every possible step in this application to minimise disruption to the local community, as well as ensure that our plans will not impact the local environment.

"The hydraulic fracturing and testing is a key step towards determining the viability of producing gas from this hybrid sandstone and shale formation in North Yorkshire.”

Protestors urge councillors to reject application

Anti-fracking protestors have said that councillors "should listen carefully and act on the concerns of residents".

Ian Conlan, Malton resident, said: “This is a hugely important application for everybody in Yorkshire. Huge swathes of the county have been licensed for fracking, despite widespread opposition, but it will be county councillors that decide on whether to allow fracking a foothold.

"Government ministers have already indicated they wish to progress large-scale fracking applications for multiple wells after pushing to get exploratory fracking approved locally."

Councillor Di Keal said: “Ryedale district councillors have rightly listened to the well founded and evidence-based concerns of residents across the district.

"Objections have been raised by a wide cross section of our community across the district, including farmers, business owners, tourist attractions, major land owners, doctors and scientists and householders.

“We now need our County Councillors to listen just as carefully, act on those concerns and reject this application to frack.”