POLICE have reassured nearby residents following the setting up of an anti-fracking camp near Kirby Misperton.

Inspector Simon Jolly, said North Yorkshire Police, Ryedale District Council and North Yorkshire County Council will facilitate peaceful protest by those involved in the “Kirby Misperton Protection Camp”.

The protection camp was set up by a group of around 10 people on Wednesday  on land off Kirby Misperton Road, west of the A169.

The local neighbourhood policing team is currently talking to the group to establish their intentions and to facilitate peaceful protest.

Inspector Simon Jolly said: “North Yorkshire Police will continue to liaise with the Kirby Misperton Protection Camp like any other community in North Yorkshire, using a neighbourhood policing approach.

“The police have a duty to facilitate peaceful protest, which is balanced with the rights of residents and businesses to go about their daily life in Kirby Misperton with any possible disruption kept to minimum.

“To be clear, the police are not taking sides regarding this issue. Our presence is intended to provide reassurance and ensure the safety of everyone involved, including those at the camp.”

Opponents of fracking have established a camp near Third Energy’s  site at Kirby Misperton.

The action follows the rejection by the High Court of a legal challenge to the granting of planning permission for fracking in the village by North Yorkshire County Council.

Eddie Thornton, from Pickering, who is one of the camp’s residents, said he had travelled back from France, where he was woriing to join the protest.

"I have come back to Ryedale to take a stand against fracking and the fact that our elected representatives are not doing anything about it," he added.

"We have set up a camp as our base to disrupt Third Energy's plans to frack at Kirby Misperton. At the moment there are 15 of us from around the country.

"Everyone in the camp is an accidental activist who is  taking a stand against fracking."

Eddie said the protestors would be spending Christmas at the camp.

"The locals have offered to bring us Christmas dinner and we hope more people will come and join us."

Campaigners held a demonstration outside Ryedale House in Malton on Tuesday after vowing to keep on fighting after a landmark High Court ruling gave the green light to fracking.

The protestors organised the peaceful protest ahead of tonight's meeting of Ryedale District Council's planning committee which will discuss a new draft Minerals and Waste Joint Plan for York and North Yorkshire, produced by North Yorkshire County Council with City of York Council and the North York Moors National Park Authority.

Malton businessman Paul Tate-Smith, who attended the demonstration, said: "Fracking is a short-term solution to our energy needs, we need to be looking at more environmentally friendly means such as the wind and sun.

"If fracking starts in Ryedale it will open the floodgates to fracking all over the country and who will be here to clean up the mess for future generations."

Earlier today Mrs Justice Lang, sitting in London, dismissed an application for a judicial review brought by two residents of Kirby Misperton and environmental group Friends of the Earth.

The judge threw out the claims that the planning permission granted to Third Energy was unsound on grounds of climate change impacts and not making provision to protect the community from future detrimental impacts of the industry.

David Davis, one of the residents behind the legal action, said: “We respect Mrs Justice Lang’s decision. Her duty was to carefully interpret the law as it stands today.

“Our greatest disappointment is with the Government, our own MP and an industry who are conspiring to force fracking on unwilling communities with the threat of overruling any councils who refuse planning permission.

“Our own county council failed to respect residents’ wishes and those of the district council, five town councils and 14 parish councils in Ryedale who objected, and did not even have the courage to use the authority’s own draft minerals and waste plan as a basis to throw out this application.”

Jackie Cray, who also took part in the legal action, said: “We are devastated that this decision allows the Government to continue to ignore the views of local people in this case. We are saddened that the very sound grounds that were raised in the case have been dismissed in the ruling.

“We, backed by people across Yorkshire, nationally, and internationally, will continue to campaign until fracking is completely banned. We thank everybody who has pledged their support for our community and for Frack Free Ryedale’s ongoing campaign.”

Friends of the Earth campaigner Donna Hume said: “Residents have said they will continue to do everything they can to peacefully prevent Third Energy from fracking, and we will be standing with them.”

Third Energy welcomed the ruling that the council had acted properly in granting planning permission for test fracks at the existing KM8 well.

Chief executive Rasik Valand said: “The permission places a great obligation on Third Energy to prove that we can carry out the test fracks in the same safe, discreet and environmentally sensitive way that we have conducted our gas exploration and energy generation activities over the past two decades.

“We are confident that we will prove to the local community that their elected representatives were right to grant this permission.”

A spokesman for North Yorkshire County Council said: “The council is grateful for the judgment of the High Court, which confirms that the planning committee gave proper regard to all material planning considerations.

“We followed a statutory process and the High Court has found that we followed it correctly.

“We are now focusing on a new draft Minerals and Waste Joint Plan for York and North Yorkshire, which has been produced by the county council with City of York Council and the North York Moors National Park Authority.

“The plan will put in place robust measures to balance the interests of the fracking industry with those of residents, businesses and the environment in areas where planning applications may be made.

“We have been encouraging people and organisations to make representations on the draft by December 21.”

The draft plan and supporting documents can be viewed at northyorks.gov.uk/mwconsult